When asked to sum up manufacturing technology in a word, “transformative” stands out as the only choice. How things get made has a ripple effect that’s incalculable and affects the way we work, play, eat, sleep, exercise – and especially the way we learn. Manufacturing informs classroom curriculum like few other industries, and Industry 4.0 advancements are unlocking a new era of learning.
Many readers will remember shop classrooms of the mid-20th century with World War II-era Bridgeport knee mills and other manual machine tools, drafting desks, and nearly overflowing with students. Others will recall the classroom of the last 30 years, where CNC became the focus, measurement devices went digital, and CAD/CAM replaced drafting pencils. Despite these modernizations, student enrollment declined as our nation shifted to “college for all” and away from vocational education. Transformative technologies have the power to reverse the trajectory of enrollments.
Classroom curriculum is adapting to keep pace with industry and accommodate the tech that will soon be ubiquitous at companies of all sizes. These technologies usher in a game-changing era where learning is ultra-modern and leads to careers that offer good pay and personal satisfaction while reinforcing the nation’s industrial security and global competitiveness.
AMT is a committed advocate for this classroom of the future. In 2020, we shifted from hosting upwards of 25,000 educators and students at IMTS to publishing “Tech It Out!,” a multi-player game show and online game to provide classrooms nationwide with a gateway to transformational tech. We distribute proceeds from the Miles for Manufacturing 5K to champion students of all backgrounds and put these technologies in their hands. Through these initiatives and more, we will continue to pave the way for schools to transform their classrooms and students, their communities, and, in return, our industry.
For more information, please contact cross@AMTonline.org, and for more timely updates @CatherineR_AMT on Twitter. Find our social media at @IMTS_Smartforce on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook at facebook.com/IMTS.Smartforce.