SME promotes manufacturing education in high schools.

Press Release Summary:

SME Education Foundation introduced Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) courses at 400 Manufacturing Education Centers in U.S., including schools in Lee's Summit, MO, and Charlotte, N.C. Course, upgraded by Project Lead The Way, enhances computer modeling skills by applying principles of robotics/automation to creation of 3D design models. Bart A. Aslin launched initiative at Summit Technology Academy reception, on February 16, which included tour of new lab and preview of curriculum.

Original Press Release:

Manufacturing Education Centers for High Schools

The SME Education Foundation's investment in Manufacturing Education Centers offers advanced manufacturing Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) courses to high school students.

DEARBORN, Mich. - Tomorrow's global leaders will have to be tech-savvy and ready for advanced manufacturing jobs requiring skills in electronics, computers, software and automation. Continuing its mission to encourage young people to focus their education on science, technology, engineering and math, the SME Education Foundation is introducing Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) courses at 400 Manufacturing Education Centers across the country. The Foundation will sponsor the course at pre-existing partner schools in Lee's Summit, Mo., and Charlotte, N.C.

Through their CIM program, the SME Education Foundation is introducing high school students to exciting careers in manufacturing, while engaging their industry partners and SME Chapter members. The CIM course, upgraded by the Foundation's industry partner, Project Lead The Way (PLTW), enhances computer modeling skills by applying principles of robotics and automation to the creation of three-dimensional design models.

Bart A. Aslin, director, SME Education Foundation, will launch the new initiative with the presentation of a $40,000 check to the Lee's Summit R-7 School District's Summit Technology Academy located in Lee's Summit, Mo., for the creation of its first CIM laboratory serving high school students in the Kansas City region. The award will be presented at a special reception at Summit Technology Academy on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Said Aslin, "Our programs have to reflect and respond to problems in the global market. And, we've run out of time. We need parents to be hands-on and encourage their children and we need industry and educators to mentor students and each other. Or, the global economy will move along without us."

The event, attended by area educators, engineering professionals, parents and PLTW students included a tour of the new lab, a demonstration of its robotic arm and a preview of the new manufacturing-based curriculum. PLTW has more than 60 schools in the metro Kansas City area, serving more than 9,000 students.

About the Curriculum - Computer Integrated Manufacturing(TM) (CIM):

This course is designed to introduce younger people to the fundamentals of computerized manufacturing technology. The curriculum is based on several key concepts: Computer Modeling using a three-dimensional, solid modeling software package with mass property analysis; CNC Equipment - understanding the machine tools and its operating and programming aspects; CAM Software - converting computer generated geometry into a program to drive CNC machine tools; Robotics - using a robot for material handling and assembly operations, and Flexible Manufacturing Systems - working in teams to design manufacturing work cells and table-top factory simulations.

About Summit Technology Academy (STA) in the Lee's Summit R-7 School District:
Summit Technology Academy is a unique secondary school located within a high-tech business campus. The school prepares students for careers in technology. STA, which opened in fall 1999, is operated by the Lee's Summit R-7 School District. It serves the three Lee's Summit R-7 high schools as well as students from a number of metro-area high schools. STA offers approximately a dozen courses, such as biomedical science/bio technology, digital electronics, digital media, engineering design and development, network security and pre-professional nursing.

About Project Lead The Way:

Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national 501c3, not-for-profit educational program, prepares middle and high school students to be the most innovative and productive leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Through an engaging, hands-on curriculum, PLTW encourages the development of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning, and a love of learning.

About the SME Education Foundation:

The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $29 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at and award-winning website,

This year, the SME Education Foundation celebrates its 30th Anniversary. For information on providing tax-deductible financial support to its academic and industry programs, or to the sponsored, invitation-only 30th Anniversary event, please visit

If you have any questions or comments, please contact SME Public Relations by phone (313) 271-1500, e-mail, or Fax: (313) 425-3403


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