By Greg Owens, President

As many of you know, while I work out of our headquarters in Grand Forks, North Dakota, I am originally from Oklahoma. That means that I look forward to spring even more than most lifelong residents of the Upper Midwest. But it’s not only due to the improving temperatures. April also brings National Robotics Week each year, and with it a renewed focus on how our youth are changing the future by embracing emerging technology.

I am so proud to be part of the tech sector today. There is a focus on encouraging youth to study technology at an early age that simply did not exist when I was growing up. Elementary and high school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs have been transformed from boring lectures filled with only white males to exciting curriculums packed with a diversity of students, including a growing number of girls.

Long past are the days of compulsory science fairs with baking soda volcanos and hastily decorated cardboard backdrops. Today, kids build real robots, visit real scientists and take part in the development of real technology. As someone who works with a lot of engineers, I can say without hesitation that it is about time that these hardworking professionals got their due. Watching one of our three-axis positioning and rate table systems in action is like watching a massive piece of kinetic art. Even our veteran engineers find themselves entranced, a room full of brilliant scientists and technicians entranced by the almost impossible combination of speed and precision.

I don’t mean to wax philosophical here, I just want to express my gratitude to the hardworking folks in the tech fields and the incredible educators who have taken on the challenge of teaching the world why these jobs are so important (and cool). National Robotics Week may be in April, but we should support youth STEM programs all year long.

And if you ever want to see one of our big test tables in action, just let me know.