The Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society (MITES) is hosting its annual convention on professional development at the Lansing Center from May 9 through May 12.

MITES is celebrating 90 years as a volunteer organization. The theme for this year’s event is, “MITES: Bridging the Skills Gap and Promoting Pathways to Careers.” Professional development will include a number of current issues at local, state and national levels.

Students from all over Michigan and parts of Indiana are expected to enter almost 10,000 projects, which will range from metal, CAD, wood, drafting, architectural, electronics, graphic arts, plastics and more. Four top-projects from each category and level will qualify for the State Student Craftsmanship Fair.

The event also includes an off-site auto contest with students diagnosing vehicle malfunctions. There is also an on-site building trades contest with students building a scale shed to blueprint specifications. Volunteer trade professionals will judge the projects.

Keynote speaker for professional development will be Kayleen McCabe, former host of Rescue Renovation on the DIY network. There will also be a presentation on “When the Big Trees Fell” by Al Eicher, which will share information about early powered saw mills and what happened during forest fires in the late 1800s.

The event also provides the opportunity to network with teachers specialized in similar courses and participate within in-service sessions with continuing education credits.

The convention is offering Industrial Technology, Technology Education and Career and Technology Education teachers the chance to self-evaluate their programs based on how their students place, as compared to students across the state.

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