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ogy available, a resource that has traditionally fallen out of reach in America’s high schools. Most importantly, M.Lab21 concretely connects what is learned in the classroom to real time skills that the manufacturing industry needs.


The M.Lab21 Team To make this vision a reality, three stakeholders have joined forces: SME has long been a leader in additive manufacturing, 3D printing and 3D scanning expertise, with 25 years of experi- ence supporting the industry. Between SME’s RAPID event— North America’s largest 3D-Technologies Event with its Bright Minds student program—and high school initiatives such as M.Lab21, FIRST Robotics, and SkillsUSA, SME is helping prepare for manufacturing’s future. Tool- ing U-SME has worked with manufacturers and educators to build training programs and support workforce learning initiatives. The SME Education Foundation PRIME model is designed to engage and build a collaborative network between manu- facturing students, educators and industry to grow and train the next generation workforce. 3D Systems is the inventor and a leading provider of 3D printing centric design-to-man- ufacturing solutions. Their education mission is to promote and advance digital literacy in K-12 STEAM education (science, technology, engi- neering, arts, mathematics), by equipping and empowering students with skills that harness the complete digital thread, from design, to scanning and modeling, to printing. 3D Systems is supporting M.Lab21 as part of the company’s MAKE.DIGITAL initiative by providing students with 21st century tools and technology to unleash their innovation and creativity, learn real-world problem solv- ing through project-based learning, and ultimately compete in the global economy. America Makes is the flagship institute of President


supporting member, America Makes (the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute). They are joined by rep- resentatives and support from corporations such as Intel, GE, Johnson Controls, Lockheed Martin, Deloitte and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The advisory committee will draw upon its wealth of expertise and resourc- es to help shape this program, advocate for its purpose and provide subject-matter expertise and best practices.


An Exciting Mission


With M.Lab21, America’s students will have a better chance to compete and succeed in the global economy. We expect to increase student achievement, increase student


Calera (AL) High School students have built prosthetic limbs, utility vehicles to be used as an ambulance and a drill for water wells, as well as a hydroelectric power plant to generate electricity for a health clinic.


engagement, increase teacher efficacy, and develop a skilled workforce through implementation of M.Lab21. “It is up to all of us to take an active role in our industry’s successful future,” said Wayne Frost, SME Interim CEO. “This is but just one, yet vital, step in that direction.” M.Lab21 will be piloted through the SME PRIME and


Obama’s proposed National Network of Manufacturing In- novation. In the two years since its inception, America Makes has established a network of more than 100 universities, com- munity colleges, and business committed to accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing technologies. The end goal is increasing domestic manufacturing competitiveness. The advisory board for the collaborative M.Lab21 Initiative is comprised of founding members SME and 3D Systems, and


Tooling U-SME networks. An example of what high school students can accomplish with manufacturing education and training can be found in SME PRIME designated Calera (AL) High School. Calera’s students have built prosthetic limbs, utility vehicles to be used as an ambulance and a drill for water wells, among other projects. M.Lab21 will enhance manufacturing curriculums with new advanced technology like 3D printers, scanners, and design software. ME Please visit sme.org/MLab21 for more information.


November 2014 | ManufacturingEngineeringMedia.com 111


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