Mt. Olive Manufacturing Continues Support of Link Observatory STEM Programming

Steve Langley discusses the UR-10 Robots capabilities with Greg McCauley and Kurt Williams of Link Observatory Space Science Institute, while Grant and Dillon Langley operate the robot.

During the summer of 2015, Steve and Lisa Langley of Mt. Olive Manufacturing donated $10,000 to help establish “The Link Observatory Space Science Institute Fund for STEM Programs in Morgan County,” a fund at the Community Foundation of Morgan County. In part, this funding has allowed the Link Observatory Space Science Institute to begin a partnership with NASA. On Friday, December 4, 2015 7th graders at Paul Hadley Middle School in Mooresville, Indiana had the opportunity to interact with Trent Smith, Program Manager for the NASA VEGGIE program at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida through a virtual interactive classroom. Through the use of modern computer technology, Smith and NASA educator Rachel Power interacted directly with 35 students – but, this is just the beginning. 

This week, the Langley’s continued their support of Link Observatory’s STEM education programs through a $5,000 gift that will help Link Observatory continue providing Discover Space programming throughout the 2016-2017 school year. Earlier this year, Link Observatory entered into a formal NASA partnership that will ensure that advanced educational programs and technologies continue to impact the minds of Central Indiana youth and adults through middle school and high school programming, as well as monthly public presentations at the Mooresville Public Library, which are followed by shuttle service to the observatory itself for viewing of the nigh time sky, weather permitting.

Greg McCauley accepts a $5,000 donation from Steve Langley,
to their right stand Mt. Olive founding partner, Lisa Langley and Community Foundation
of Morgan County Director of Charitable Giving, Chris Oganowski.

Greg McCauley, Executive Director and CEO of the Link Observatory Space Science Institute said, “We’d like to thank Steve, Lisa, and Tony Langley at Mt. Olive Manufacturing for continuing to support us as we focus on bringing NASA into the classroom. These young people today are tomorrow’s work force. We want them to continue to develop interest in science and technology – it’s important for our future.” McCauley continued, “The Langleys really are the American Dream and an inspiration to everyone as proof of what hard work can do.”

In less than a decade, the Langleys moved from working in a backyard pole barn to a manufacturing company that is now beginning to integrate robotics into their production line. During this week’s check presentation, amidst a friendly chat that ranged from STEM education to astronomy to robotics to the Morgan County workforce, the Langleys’ sons, Grant and Dillon, both studying engineering in college, demonstrated the UR-10 robot’s precision and reliability. Greg McCauley and Kurt Williams of Link Observatory, and Danie Becknell and Chris Oganowski of the Community Foundation of Morgan County joined Steve, Lisa, and Tony Langley for a discussion on not only the function of the robot, but how this robot would help better fill the role of a rote and repetitive manufacturing position that has a high turnover rate. This robot represents the direction the Langleys hope to not just steer Mt. Olive Manufacturing, but Morgan County students as they continue exploring the functional uses of innovative technology to improve the lives and work conditions of everyday people. 

Further Reading:
INSGC: Successful NASA Interactive Classroom
Morgan County Business Leader: This IS Rocket Science!
CFMC: Mt. Olive Supports Link Space Science Institute STEM Program
CFMC: Mt. Olive Donates $5,000 to Support STEM Education in Morgan County
CFMC: Mt. Olive Donates $30,000 to Support Morgan County Scholarships

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