The Pursuit Institute hosted its inaugural student event, Advanced Manufacturing Day, on Friday with middle school robotics club students from three different schools.
Approximately 65 students visited Conner Prairie to learn about the history of manufacturing, followed by a visit to INDEX Corporation’s Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) 2022 event in Noblesville. Schools participating included Creekside Middle School, Carmel; Hamilton Heights Middle School, Arcadia; and Legacy Christian School, Noblesville.
As a living history museum with extensive ties to the community, Conner Prairie uses the past to shine a light on the future. This included providing students with a wide variety of tailored experiences focused on the evolution of manufacturing in Indiana. While at INDEX, the students visited a variety of stations learning about the use of technology, automation, and robotics in advanced manufacturing settings.
Students attending INDEX’s MFG Day event were welcomed by the company’s president and CEO, Cris Taylor, who focused on the potential for tremendous career growth within the industry. Then, students were split into small groups and toured INDEX’s facility. These tours included stops at eight distinct learning stations where experts provided information on and demonstrations of advanced machine tool technology, automation, additive manufacturing, software and more.
“As someone who forwent university and instead continued my education in a German apprenticeship program, I am very passionate about making sure young people understand the potential our industry offers,” Mr. Taylor said. “In the US, I find that some educators are becoming keener to make sure their students are aware of the opportunities in manufacturing. It’s on us, American manufacturing companies, to engage with the schools, the students and the parents. A MFG Day event provides a great vehicle to drive that engagement.”
At the close of their visit, students heard from Jose Zamora, training and development manager at INDEX. Mr. Zamora previewed initial details of an in-development internship-to-apprenticeship program for high school students that will launch in 2023.
“This is a great example of the innovative approach The Pursuit Institute incorporates with career and technical education,” The Pursuit Institute Deputy Director Kyle Marshall said. “Centered on collaboration with Conner Prairie, INDEX, Helmer Scientific, RZ Automation and Schafer, we are engaging middle school students from across Hamilton County in a truly one-of-a-kind experience centered on advanced manufacturing and innovation. Today is a showcase of tomorrow’s talent actively connecting the dots and developing future career aspirations.”
In addition to the group from The Pursuit Institute, INDEX hosted 250 students from Noblesville High School, KIPP Indy Public Schools, Vincennes University and the Aviation Institute of Maintenance. Other organizations that presented at the event include Helmer Scientific, RZ Automation and Schafer Industries.
Each year, MFG Day is held on the first Friday in October to show students, parents, and the public what modern manufacturing is all about. Industry 4.0 technologies bring about whole new careers, requiring a skilled workforce interested in pursuing them. From bioengineers to data analysts to robotics technicians, there is a place for everyone in manufacturing.
In conjunction with all six public school systems in Hamilton County, The Pursuit Institute works to expand public-private partnerships to create a pipeline of skilled and credentialed students to directly impact the local economy.
Photos provided by Invest Hamilton County & INDEX Corporation