In an excellent start to 2019, LAB Midwest hosted teacher and instructor training for a four-course Industry 4.0 program at the Mequon Tech Center. The program was developed to prepare learners and prospective industrial employers for the changing manufacturing landscape.

This is the second round of instructor training held in Wisconsin; the first training occurred this fall at Gateway Technical College’s iMET Center in Sturtevant. The program has gained so much momentum in its first six months that another round of instructors signed up.

Attendees included technical college instructors, high school teachers and industrial employers who are collaborating to create statewide pathways for careers in advanced manufacturing and are being prepared to deliver the four courses in their classrooms and labs. Milwaukee Area Technical College and Gateway Technical College have been major proponents of the Industry 4.0 education movement in the state.

WISN 12 News caught wind of the training and featured LAB Midwest on two of their live broadcasts, highlighting the great work being done for STEM education in Wisconsin.

Matt Kirchner demonstrated the Amatrol Skill Boss which teaches and assesses over 60 manufacturing skills. “We’ve encompassed every single aspect of advanced manufacturing, from programmable logic controllers which are the computers we use to run manufacturing equipment, to electric motors, to a three-axis robot, smart sensors, wireless communication.”

The Skill Boss demonstration can be viewed below:

Mike Dietrich then demonstrated operating a FANUC pick-and-place robot, showing how students are benefitting from exposure to authentic industrial skills like robotic programming.

“We are seeing this a lot more in K-12 and technical colleges to be able to teach kids what the aspects of automation are,” remarked Dietrich. “And how it can be applied into a real job setting and even have some really cool certifications attached to it.”

He went on to comment about how skills learned through these programs can open up exciting career pathways in automation that many students might not have known about otherwise.

The FANUC robot demonstration video can be viewed below.

What these demonstrations show is how dynamic learning practices are changing the way instructors teach valuable skills. With equipment like the Skill Boss and pick-and-place robot, students get the added layer of first-hand operation of the STEM concepts they’re learning in classrooms.

“Students get a really hands-on, interactive experience, which is a great way to reinforce learning,” remarked Matt Kirchner.

The Industry 4.0 education wave continues to surge across the Midwest, and LAB Midwest is proud to be a part of its influence.

More photos from the instructor training event can be found here. For more information on the four-course Industry 4.0 program mentioned in this article, contact us or download the flyer.