Team of Lyceum No. 142 won the IKaR competition.

On March 3, the regional stage of the national career guidance competition “Engineers of Russia” (IKaR) was held at the South Ural State Agrarian University. The competition was organized by the Youth Technical Creativity Center of Chelyabinsk region. As many as 200 children came to show their engineering solutions inspired by real-life industrial enterprises. Young engineers presented various projects for implementation into different factories. And KONAR was no exception.

This year KONAR became a sponsor and a customer of the project developed by teams of young engineers of Lyceum No. 142 and School No. 116. One of these teams took the prize in nomination “IKaR-Profi (SoyuzMash)”. A technical assignment was developed for the young engineers to construct a loading mechanism for pattern equipment of the quenching and tempering line at the Heat Treatment Workshop. For implementation of their projects, they received robotics kits and consumables. The participants did substantial prep work prior to the contest: they got acquainted with the factory, studied the specifics of its operation and worked on their own project for several months in order to successfully present it to the judges.

KONAR has been collaborating with the regional Technical Creativity Center for several years. Head of the Industrial Group Valery Bondarenko, having received the title of “Honorary Citizen of Chelyabinsk region” in 2017, decided to donate all monthly payments awarded with this title to the State-Funded Institution of Supplementary Education “Youth Technical Creativity Center”.

– The main point of the educational process is to engage children, – says Sergey Volchenko, Deputy Director of the Center, – Thankfully, more and more enterprises start to understand how important it is to shape children’s attitude from an early age. The young contestants create projects for a specific factory and get to explore it inside and out. By defending their project, they defend the honor of the factory they are cooperating with, and they get involved with it. That is our primary goal – to make children involved in the works.

– The teams mentored by KONAR figured out a way to improve the loading and unloading process at the thermochemical treatment and workpiece heating line,Evgeny Bodrov, Technical Director of KONAR JSC, told us. – The children visited the production site, looked at the lines with their fresh perspective and offered solutions on how a robot can increase efficiency of the process. We will have a go at calculating the costs of their proposals; however, the results that the students bring are not as significant as their engagement in the technological process of the factory. It is important that children learn to solve real-world actual production problems and realize that they are capable of doing it on their own, believe in their own potential.

While the competition was taking place in the main venue, a round table discussion was held at the Agrarian University dedicated to the main topic of the entire event – career guidance for children and youth in the context of an acute shortage of engineering and technical professionals.

– The main point of the round table discussion was finding ways to of efficiently guide young people towards a career in engineering, – says Evgeny Bodrov, who represented the engineering industry in the discussion. – It’s not enough just to tell children what a good profession this is. Many people have this prejudice dinned into their heads: working at a factory is not prestigious. That is what we need to change. We know from our experience of conducting factory tours for school students and college students that after visiting a factory, young people are not afraid, but, on the contrary, are carried away by the possibilities of modern industry. Tours are a great way to promote engineering and vocational professions, and we continue to work in that direction. Recently, we have come to the conclusion that tours should be arranged not only for students, but also for the teaching personnel. This way teachers can see it all for themselves and include questions and tasks related to modern production in the educational process. Then the technical matters could be discussed within lessons across various subjects, which would be very helpful.