Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District
June 2019
About Manufacturing Technology Academy
Manufacturing Technology Academy provides a learning environment which motivates and enables students to acquire world-class manufacturing and engineering skills while positioning them to compete and excel in the global market.
MTA is a tuition-free program offered by Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District’s Career-Tech Center for eleventh and twelfth grade students in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties. For information, call
(231) 922-7859.
Close Encounters with Astronauts

MTA students attended a special program celebrating space exploration in spring 2019. Presented by Northwestern Michigan College's International Affairs Forum, in collaboration with Newton's Road and TC Space Accelerator, the event welcomed astronauts Charlie Bolden who commanded four space shuttle flights; Jerry Linenger who spent nearly five months aboard the Russian space station MIr; and Greg Johnson who piloted space shuttle Endeavour on two missions. What a great learning experience for these high school students to absorb the remarkable experiences of these elite space explorers.

Pictured below is a crew of MTA students with Jerry Linenger; and MTA/TC Central High School senior Olivia Rockwood with Greg Johnson and Charlie Bolden.
Interested in MTA?
Applications Still Accepted for 2019-20
There are still a few spots left at Manufacturing Technology Academy for the 2019-2020 school year! Rising high school juniors may still apply. Accepted students attend MTA during their junior and senior years of high school.

The challenging MTA educational experience, housed in the newly-built classrooms and labs at the Career-Tech Center campus on Parsons Road in Traverse City, is a rewarding and rigorous academic program. Students engage in classes in math, science, English, economics, engineering and project management. Robotics and automation, product design, and electrical and pneumatic systems are also key parts of the MTA curriculum. The image above is a link to an informative video about the field of engineering... check it out!

For application instructions, see the information below. Contact Tim Wheatley at (231) 922-7846 or with questions.
How to Apply to
Manufacturing Technology Academy
It’s simple to apply... here’s how:

Mail application packet to

TBAISD Career-Tech Center
Tim Wheatley
880 Parsons Rd.
Traverse City, MI 49686

Application packet should include:
  • MTA application with counselor comments and signature Get the application HERE
  • 9th grade and first semester 10th grade transcripts
  • One-paragraph essay explaining why the student would like to attend MTA
  • Two letters of recommendation (only one may be from an educator)

Interview   with MTA Manufacturer’s Council
Students will be contacted by MTA to schedule an interview after submitting full application packet 

Students will be notified of their application status by MTA

Contact Tim Wheatley at (231) 922-7846 or
MTA Juniors
Put to the Test

As new MTA students, high school juniors have to weather the academic rigors of MTA. After successfully making it through the first semester, the eleventh graders were rewarded with "Class of 2020" t-shirts to show their grit!

As high school juniors, MTA students are new to the program with a heavy load of academic and leadership skills to take on. But, under the guidance of the dedicated MTA staff, professional mentors, and MTA seniors, the kids find their way to success and growth.

Now, as the seniors have moved on, these kids take the helm as the "veterans" of the program, ready to continue the hard, hands-on work built in to the well-respected Manufacturing Technology Academy.
Congratulations 2019 MTA Graduates!
Claire Ackerman
Traverse City West Senior High
Northwestern Michigan College for Science and Arts followed by a 4-year college
Christian Barber
Glen Lake High School
Kettering University
Mechanical Engineering
Ridge Beeman
Buckley Community Schools
Northwestern Michigan College followed by Michigan State University
Brendan Burt
Traverse City West Senior High
Northwestern Michigan College followed by a 4-year college for Engineering
Justus Daugherty
Schooled at Home 
Grand Valley State University
Business Administration
Andrew Dennis
Bellaire High School
Northwestern Michigan College followed by a military academy or
4-year college
Civil or Mechanical Engineering
Maxwell Gurthet
Traverse City Central High School
Michigan Tech University
Mechanical Engineering
Henry Heitman
Traverse City West Senior High
American Maritime Officer Union TECH Program
Maritime Engineering
Dylan Kangas
Traverse City Central High School
Michigan Tech University
Electrical Engineering and Business
Grace Kolbusz
Traverse City West Senior High
Michigan Tech University
Theatre and Entertainment Industries
Timothy Kramer
Benzie Central High School
Michigan Tech University
Mechanical Engineering
Benjamin Loew
Elk Rapids High School
Michigan Tech University
Materials Science and Engineering
Chloe Nicholas
Glen Lake High School
Grand Valley State University
Occupational Therapy
Olivia Rockwood
Traverse City Central High School
Michigan Tech University
Computer Science

Anders Roe
Schooled at Home 
Northwestern Michigan College followed by a 4-year college for Engineering
Atlas Rosenburg
Traverse City West Senior High
Michigan Tech University
Mechanical Engineering
Jaelyn Silk
Bellaire High School
University of Illinois at Chicago
Major undecided
Casey Smith
Grand Traverse Academy
Michigan Tech University/
Air Force ROTC
Civil Engineering
Zachary Thelander
Schooled at Home
Northwestern Michigan College
Seth Thurman
Schooled at Home
Moving to a new home and seeking a career path before selecting a best-fit college
Grayson Wagner
Traverse City West Senior High
Michigan Tech University
Software Engineering
Matthew Wooten
Benzie Central High School
Northwestern Michigan College followed
by Michigan Tech University
Aerospace Engineering
MTA Alum Spotlight
Victor Casler, 2016
Victor Casler, 2016 MTA and TC St. Francis High School alum, was honored by Clemson University's Department of Bioengineering with the Barry W. Sauer Undergraduate Researcher Award, bestowed each year to an undergraduate student who demonstrates innovation, creativity and passion in their research, discovery and biomaterials development. 

For the last two years Victor has been researching intervertebral disc degeneration, a cause of severe lower back pain. His work was presented at the Orthopedic Research Society in New Orleans in March 2018, and was also published in the April 19, 2018 issue of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research titled “Decellularization and Characterization of a Whole Intervertebral Disc Xenograft Scaffold”."

Victor also presented at the Society for Biomaterials 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Seattle, WA. Casler explains, “My work is part of a team that is basically taking the cushioning material from in-between the bones of a cow tail and removing all the bovine DNA with hopes of implanting it into the space between human vertebrae as an alternative treatment for severe lower back pain.”

Casler studied bioengineering at Clemson University and graduated in December 2019.
MTA Alum Spotlight
Christopher Lodge, 2016
2016 MTA and Glen Lake High School grad, Christopher Lodge is a Northern Michigan University student double majoring in computer science and mathematics. Thanks to his great academics and work ethic, he landed a summer computer science internship at 906 Technologies in Marquette and also works at the NMU computer help desk during the school year.

The Mining Journal newspaper also recently published an article (linked to the left) featuring Chris as he and his teammates won the top prize in the 20th Annual NMU Invitational Programming Contest!
Robot Planning

Manufacturing Technology Academy students showcased the meticulous planning that takes place before and during robotics season. Pictured here, seniors demonstrated for guests their robot prototypes in preparation for National Robotics Challenge in Marion, Ohio.
MTA Robotics Teams Triumph at National Robotics Challenge

Check out the YouTube video on the right, highlighting one of MTA's award-winning robots that created artwork based on what type of music is played.

Pictured below is a group of MTA students taking a well-deserved break during NRC competition.
MTA Interns a Win-Win
for Businesses

Manufacturing Technology Academy welcomes businesses and organizations to get involved with MTA by hosting interns. MTA students are well-equipped to flourish and make real contributions to organizations. The search is underway now for businesses willing to offer summer internship opportunities. For information, contact Debby Oliver at
MTA is Social!

Stay in touch with MTA happenings on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. From student accomplishments to career opportunities, it's a great way to learn more and stay in touch.
Thankful Recognition
Special thanks to the industry partners who contribute resources and expertise in support of MTA’s mission. As a result, our students thrive in a rich learning environment with hands-on, collaborative experiences.
MTA Contacts
MTA Main Phone
(231) 922-7859 

MTA Guidance Board President  
Kim Dunnebacke, PE

Career-Tech Center Principal
Pat Lamb
Sponsors Welcome
MTA is always seeking sponsors and grant opportunities. If you are an individual or company interested in collaborating, please contact Debby Oliver at (231) 922-7845 or