Camp CHAMP debut

Published Date
July 01, 2023 - 12:00:am

A hands-on educational program designed to spread awareness about careers in manufacturing, Camp CHAMP debuted as part of the Leyden Student Summit held last month at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Illinois. Of the 170 middle school students who signed up for the two-day summer career-oriented educational event, 30 chose to experience first-hand what it takes to make pens out of wood using tabletop machinery. The students watched and assisted with various operations as they moved from one station to the next. There was a tabletop lathe, a rotary grinder, a tabletop milling machine, an assembly station, a laser marking machine and, finally, an inspection system.

The brainchild of Terry Iverson and the CHAMPION Now organization he founded, Camp CHAMP is the not-for-profit organization's latest effort to change how American manufacturing is perceived in our nation (CHAMPION). Judging from its successful debut at the Leyden Student Summit, future Camp CHAMP events should go far to help change the perception of manufacturing careers in this country.

At the end of the first day of the camp, I had the privilege of sitting down to interview three middle schoolers in attendance. (You can hear what they had to say by scanning the QR image that's next to a still captured from Cutting Tool Engineering's video coverage of the event.) Suffice to say, turning and milling and laser marking are "cool," and would make for a "cool job."

Camp CHAMP made a good impression for manufacturing, and, hopefully, the industry can help keep that momentum going by supporting CHAMPION Now with future such efforts. If you're interested in sponsoring a future camp, contact CHAMPION Now Executive Director Brit Iverson (Terry's son) at

Investing in this effort now will pay dividends down the road as many of today's youth become tomorrow's manufacturing workforce.

Related Glossary Terms

  • gang cutting ( milling)

    gang cutting ( milling)

    Machining with several cutters mounted on a single arbor, generally for simultaneous cutting.

  • lathe


    Turning machine capable of sawing, milling, grinding, gear-cutting, drilling, reaming, boring, threading, facing, chamfering, grooving, knurling, spinning, parting, necking, taper-cutting, and cam- and eccentric-cutting, as well as step- and straight-turning. Comes in a variety of forms, ranging from manual to semiautomatic to fully automatic, with major types being engine lathes, turning and contouring lathes, turret lathes and numerical-control lathes. The engine lathe consists of a headstock and spindle, tailstock, bed, carriage (complete with apron) and cross slides. Features include gear- (speed) and feed-selector levers, toolpost, compound rest, lead screw and reversing lead screw, threading dial and rapid-traverse lever. Special lathe types include through-the-spindle, camshaft and crankshaft, brake drum and rotor, spinning and gun-barrel machines. Toolroom and bench lathes are used for precision work; the former for tool-and-die work and similar tasks, the latter for small workpieces (instruments, watches), normally without a power feed. Models are typically designated according to their “swing,” or the largest-diameter workpiece that can be rotated; bed length, or the distance between centers; and horsepower generated. See turning machine.

  • milling


    Machining operation in which metal or other material is removed by applying power to a rotating cutter. In vertical milling, the cutting tool is mounted vertically on the spindle. In horizontal milling, the cutting tool is mounted horizontally, either directly on the spindle or on an arbor. Horizontal milling is further broken down into conventional milling, where the cutter rotates opposite the direction of feed, or “up” into the workpiece; and climb milling, where the cutter rotates in the direction of feed, or “down” into the workpiece. Milling operations include plane or surface milling, endmilling, facemilling, angle milling, form milling and profiling.

  • milling machine ( mill)

    milling machine ( mill)

    Runs endmills and arbor-mounted milling cutters. Features include a head with a spindle that drives the cutters; a column, knee and table that provide motion in the three Cartesian axes; and a base that supports the components and houses the cutting-fluid pump and reservoir. The work is mounted on the table and fed into the rotating cutter or endmill to accomplish the milling steps; vertical milling machines also feed endmills into the work by means of a spindle-mounted quill. Models range from small manual machines to big bed-type and duplex mills. All take one of three basic forms: vertical, horizontal or convertible horizontal/vertical. Vertical machines may be knee-type (the table is mounted on a knee that can be elevated) or bed-type (the table is securely supported and only moves horizontally). In general, horizontal machines are bigger and more powerful, while vertical machines are lighter but more versatile and easier to set up and operate.

  • turning


    Workpiece is held in a chuck, mounted on a face plate or secured between centers and rotated while a cutting tool, normally a single-point tool, is fed into it along its periphery or across its end or face. Takes the form of straight turning (cutting along the periphery of the workpiece); taper turning (creating a taper); step turning (turning different-size diameters on the same work); chamfering (beveling an edge or shoulder); facing (cutting on an end); turning threads (usually external but can be internal); roughing (high-volume metal removal); and finishing (final light cuts). Performed on lathes, turning centers, chucking machines, automatic screw machines and similar machines.


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