Category Archives: Business

Three Auto Manufacturers Bring the Future of Robotics to US High Schools

Three Auto Manufacturers Bring the Future of Robotics to US High Schools

Education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is changing rapidly. For example, one innovation in secondary-level STEM education is the development of STEM high schools embedded in workplaces. In addition, traditional high schools are offering cutting-edge robotics and engineering classes. Three auto manufacturers—Ford, General Motors, and Honda—are partnering with the SME Education Foundation to bring robotics instruction to secondary schools in the US. Read on to learn more about these exciting STEM education initiatives.

About the SME Education Foundation

SME Education Foundation

The SME Education Foundation is part of SME, formerly known as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Dedicated to advancing the field of manufacturing engineering, SME sponsors training courses, trade shows, and certificate programs, among other initiatives. In 1979, SME established its Education Foundation (SMEEF) to support schools in providing instruction in manufacturing engineering.

Today SMEEF focuses on three areas in its promotion of manufacturing engineering education. The organization works to develop a pipeline of manufacturing engineering programming from the elementary grades to the graduate school level, awards student scholarships and grants to encourage educational pursuits in manufacturing engineering, and supports manufacturing engineering curriculum development by providing gifts and financial assistance to post-secondary institutions.

SME PRIME Schools

In 2011, SMEEF established SME PRIME Schools. PRIME stands for Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education, and SME PRIME Schools focus on providing students with cutting-edge experiences in manufacturing engineering. The organization accomplishes this with the support of more than 250 industry partners who work with school districts around the country. Programming provided by SME PRIME Schools and their partners include mentoring, job shadowing, apprenticeships, and co-ops.

To date, SMEEF estimates that more than 50,000 students have participated in its programs, which exist in 47 communities in 22 states. Currently there are eight SME PRIME Schools in Ohio; seven in Michigan; six in California; three in Indiana; two each in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; and one each in Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. SMEEF is actively recruiting more schools to participate.

Although the particulars differ in each SME PRIME School, students are able to earn credentials and gain invaluable practical experience in a variety of manufacturing engineering careers. These careers include CNC machining, welding, mechatronics, industrial maintenance, and metrology. Students in all SME PRIME Schools have access to advanced technology and equipment, and enjoy active learning opportunities.

Ford and Romeo High School

Ford motors logo

In Romeo, Michigan, Ford has partnered with Romeo High School to create an SME PRIME School. Here, students can study advanced manufacturing and robotics by taking courses in robotics, mechatronics, drafting, mechanical design, and machine tooling. Additionally, Ford’s nearby Michigan Proving Ground provides opportunities for students at Romeo High School to interact with manufacturing engineers and other professionals at Ford.

Some of the highlights at this school include such machining equipment as a stair precision measuring toolbox, mills, lathes, band saws, and CNC machines. As for robotics, Romeo High School boasts both a MicroScribe and two robotic arms that have programmable logic controllers. Students in the program have landed internships during their high school years that have led to jobs after graduation.

General Motors and Fraser High School

GM logo

General Motors and five local companies have partnered with Fraser High School in Fraser, Michigan, to qualify it as an SME PRIME School. Programs of study at Fraser High School include the engineering, manufacturing, and industrial technology track, with focus areas in electrical and electronics equipment, manufacturing technology, mechanical drafting, and small engine technology. Students can also focus on woodworking or on welding, brazing, and soldering. All courses in this track include hands-on experience as part of the curriculum.

Of particular note at Fraser High School are the new industrial-grade CNC machinery, welding equipment, robotics equipment, and CAD software. The school is also planning to build additional facilities to accommodate classes and workspace related to the automobile, aerospace, automation, and defense industries. Additionally, Fraser High students are able to visit with nearby General Motors manufacturing professionals.

Honda and Anna High School

honda-logo

In Anna, Ohio, Honda has played a role in making Anna High School an SME PRIME School. With an engine plant nearby, Honda recognized the opportunity to prepare local youth for the increasingly automated workplaces of the future. Industrial technology courses at Anna High School introduce students to concepts and fields such as aeronautics, research and development, electronics, engineering, blueprint reading, CAD, manufacturing, metrology, and mechatronics. 

At Anna High School, robotics is taught in the main school building, not in an annex, and to accommodate the machinery, a new addition is being constructed. The machinery and equipment includes a robotic arm. Students at Anna High School learn in a team-based atmosphere to design and manufacture projects of their own choosing as well as complete budgeting and marketing plans for these projects. Advanced students also have the opportunity to teach and mentor their peers.

The Exciting Way Intel Is Making STEM More Accessible to Students

The Exciting Way Intel Is Making STEM More Accessible to Students

Though women and non-Asian minorities are woefully underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field, many companies are working to diversify the STEM workforce. One example is Verizon,which has implemented student programming to attract underrepresented youth to STEM careers. Intel, another well-known tech company, recently announced the launch of its mobile Tech Learning… Continue Reading

FIRST to Celebrate 30 Years of Inspiring Students’ Interest in STEM

FIRST to Celebrate 30 Years of Inspiring Students’ Interest in STEM

Committed to inspiring youth to become interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), FIRST—For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology—is a worldwide organization that is preparing to observe its 30th anniversary. Established in 1989 as a not-for-profit charitable organization, FIRST provides youth with opportunities to work hands-on with mentors in the fields of… Continue Reading

Mathematics Skills Shine in New Field of Sports Analytics

Mathematics Skills Shine in New Field of Sports Analytics

One of the best ways to get students excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is to show how these subjects relate to everyday life. When it comes to mathematics, one exciting area of everyday relevance is sports. Sports analytics is a major career field these days, with the 2011 movie Moneyball highlighting the… Continue Reading

Get to Know These Women in the National Academy of Engineering

Get to Know These Women in the National Academy of Engineering

Women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. For example, only one in seven engineering professionals is female, according to a 2011 US Department of Commerce study. Women may earn more than half of the bachelor’s degrees in the US, but they only represent 37 percent of STEM graduates. Among computer science… Continue Reading

This Online Program Matches Scientists with Kids around the World

This Online Program Matches Scientists with Kids around the World

With science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers plentiful, many are focusing on how to get students excited about STEM. One way to spark students’ interest in STEM is to emphasize hands-on learning. Rather than associating STEM with the boredom of long, dry lectures or multiple-choice tests, students can find the fun and excitement in… Continue Reading