STEM is an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in technology development. [Ref: wikipedia]
Automatic Feed Company, a world-class designer and manufacturer of coil handling and press feeding automation solutions, has announced the establishment of the Northwest Ohio Learning Center for Manufacturing Sciences, located within Automatic Feed’s headquarters. The facility will serve as the technology learning center for a new partnership formed between Automatic Feed, Northwest State Community College and Napoleon Area schools in order to promote manufacturing in the area.
Automatic Feed remodeled several offices into one large classroom with an attached teacher’s office in order to create the learning space. AFCO then invested in electronic equipment, such as a Smart Board and an overhead projection system as well as new furniture and carpeting to optimize the classroom learning experience.
“It’s well-known that we are facing a skills-shortage in manufacturing and many of the high schools no longer provide technical education,” stated Peter Beck. “So, when this opportunity surfaced, we were happy to invest in this facility and provide students the opportunity to experience the world of modern manufacturing and its various career avenues.”
The facility opened in late August, coinciding with the 2014-15 school year. Curriculum for the program is a combination of classroom and hands-on training and includes the following: Introduction to Engineering Technologies, Print Reading, Manufacturing Processes, and Industrial Computing. Additionally, there may be some education provided in administrative functions such as Human Resources and Accounting.
High school students seeking college credit from a two-year college will attend STEM for up to two hours each day. Classes are offered Monday through Thursday with a lab day every Friday. Students will receive credit toward high school graduation as well as 11 to 12 community college credits. The program name was selected by the initial incoming class of 13 high school students who were given the opportunity to formally select the program name.
“The technical college courses offered at Automatic Feed Company are a result of the Henry County economic, manufacturing and K-12 stakeholders working together,” stated Jim Drewes, Director of Workforce Development at Northwest State Community College. “The career opportunities in the manufacturing sector are immense and the students need to be educated in the variety of technical positions available from local companies.”
Ryan Wilde, Napoleon High School Principal, added, “Being in a position to offer unique educational experiences to our students is always a consideration when developing new curriculum offerings. This partnership of industry and academia allows us to not only make students college ready, but career ready as well. Napoleon High School is always willing and happy to be in such a position to work and invest in our community.”
Peter Beck encourages other companies in the area to contact Automatic Feed at +1 (419) 592-0050 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about what is being accomplished through this program.