Rockwell Labs continues its internship program to encourage young women to pursue careers in science and engineering. This spring, high school students Katie Prendergast, Taylor Messer, and Ashlyn Liska completed the program through Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), wherein they worked at Rockwell’s North Kansas City, Mo. headquarters for 2.5 hours each day during the spring semester in lieu of normal classwork.
The students spent time working in both the chemistry laboratory and the manufacturing area. Chemistry lab work included product quality control and specification testing, formulation work and product development. In the manufacturing area, the company had recently purchased its most advanced piece of high-speed, automated manufacturing equipment to date, so the students assisted in the extensive testing and qualification to get the new machine up and running and producing product according to specifications. They also assisted in the ongoing implementation of the company’s 5S and advanced manufacturing initiatives.
Prendergast and Messer graduated from high school this spring at the top of their respective classes. Liska has one more year. All three students have paid internships at Rockwell over the summer. In addition, Sarah Piburn, who had participated in the CAPS program in spring 2015, worked at Rockwell during winter break this year, and is now back working again this summer after completing her first successful year of engineering school.
Prendergast will attend Kansas State University this fall, majoring in chemical engineering. Messer will attend Creighton University in Nebraska to study biochemistry. Liska is looking forward to completing another CAPS internship this coming year in a different area of chemistry.
“I continue to be impressed by the many talents, and the drive and poise of these young women,” says Rockwell Founder and CEO Dr. Cisse Spragins.