Tomorrow's global leaders will have to be tech-savvy and ready for advanced manufacturing jobs requiring skills in electronics, computers, software and automation. Continuing its mission to encourage young people to focus their education on science, technology, engineering and math, the SME Education Foundation is introducing Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) courses at 400 Manufacturing Education Centers across the country. The Foundation will sponsor the course at pre-existing partner schools in Lee's Summit, MO, and Charlotte, NC.
Through their CIM program, the SME Education Foundation is introducing high school students to careers in manufacturing, while engaging their industry partners and SME Chapter members. The CIM course, upgraded by the foundation's industry partner, Project Lead The Way (PLTW), enhances computer modeling skills by applying principles of robotics and automation to the creation of three-dimensional design models.
Bart A. Aslin, director, SME Education Foundation, launched the new initiative with the presentation of a $40,000 check to the Lee's Summit R-7 School District's Summit Technology Academy located in Lee's Summit, MO, for the creation of its first CIM laboratory serving high school students in the Kansas City region. The award was presented at a special reception at Summit Technology Academy on Tuesday, February 16.
"Our programs have to reflect and respond to problems in the global market. And, we've run out of time. We need parents to be hands-on and encourage their children, and we need industry and educators to mentor students and each other. Or, the global economy will move along without us," Aslin says.
The event, attended by area educators, engineering professionals, parents and PLTW students included a tour of the new lab, a demonstration of its robotic arm and a preview of the new manufacturing-based curriculum. PLTW has more than 60 schools in the metro Kansas City area, serving more than 9,000 students.