With more automation and smart technology than ever before, manufacturing is a great industry with high wages, solid benefits and more job security than many other sectors. For those who love to work with their hands and don’t want to sit at a desk all day, it’s a perfect fit.
That’s why Amatrol and LIFT (a Manufacturing USA Institute) co-developed the IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing program. This groundbreaking initiative is poised to revolutionize technical education, providing students with cutting-edge technologies and a curriculum designed to expose them to manufacturing career pathways, while also honing essential soft skills and preparing them for a plethora of career options within the world of manufacturing.
Here’s everything you need to know about IGNITE and why it’s a great curriculum for your school.
During his time in the White House, President Obama launched a national network of manufacturing innovation centers called Manufacturing USA Institutes. Each institute is a private-public partnership spearheaded by a state department, with members coming from industry and academia, in an effort to keep the U.S. manufacturing industry competitive globally. LIFT (Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow) focuses primarily on advanced materials, manufacturing processes, systems engineering and talent development and is funded by the Department of Defense.
Co-developing the IGNITE program along with LIFT is Amatrol, the world’s leading developer of technical training systems and curriculum. Based in Jeffersonville, Indiana, Amatrol has led the country in hands-on and manufacturing-relevant training systems for all areas of advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0.
Together, LIFT and Amatrol produced IGNITE as a turn-key solution for school districts to teach manufacturing.
IGNITE is a multi-course foundational curriculum designed for high school students in grades 9-12. It encompasses industry-relevant themes, including Industry 4.0, AutoCAD design, and advanced materials and processes. The program seamlessly integrates career exploration and career preparation, aiming to inspire and excite students about careers in STEM and manufacturing.
The program is designed to expose students to the dynamic world of manufacturing technology, develop employability skills (often referred to as 21st-century skills), and offer opportunities to earn college credit and industry-recognized certifications.
IGNITE does not just impart knowledge; it empowers students with industry-recognized certifications and credentials, enhancing their employability. The program is designed to align with several key certifications that students can earn:
These certifications not only validate students’ skills but also open doors to career opportunities, providing a competitive edge in the job market.
A unique aspect of the IGNITE program is its emphasis on project-based learning. Students spend a significant portion of their time working on hands-on projects, both in groups and individually. Project-based learning (PBL) is widely praised for its ability to teach the soft skills that make a student more valuable in the workplace – like collaboration, delegation of tasks, teamwork, communication, and meeting deadlines.
The project-based learning approach fosters teamwork, collaboration, and communication, skills highly sought after by employers in the manufacturing industry.
IGNITE certainly isn’t the only manufacturing-focused curriculum available to STEM and CTE teachers out there. Often, programs are geared toward a certain set of students already set on a certain career track – like those on their way to an engineering degree or those who don’t want to pursue college at all. What makes IGNITE unique is that it’s designed to be useful for all these students, regardless of their future pathways.
IGNITE’s flexible structure allows students to follow their chosen path while acquiring the necessary skills for future success.
Districts who use the IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing program have the absolute best teacher support and training out there. Unlike many curriculum programs that require schools to spend thousands of dollars to get an instructor trained and certified, all IGNITE instructors will be trained and prepared by the experts at ATS Midwest and Amatrol at no cost to the district.
Training sessions cover a wide range of topics, from mastering the program’s technology to effective pedagogical strategies. Educators are provided with the tools and resources they need to create a dynamic learning environment for their students. Training sessions are conducted both in person and virtually to accommodate the diverse needs of educators across the country. Plus, ATS Midwest consistently offers professional development opportunities to help instructors stay updated and continuously improve their skills.
In addition to training, the program itself is a true turn-key package that includes everything a school needs to deliver learning.
There’s no doubt that it’s a great program – but is it the right one for your district? Who should deliver the learning? Might it fit into existing course structures? Should you start with a few courses first, or the entire program? These are all great questions, and it’s why we at ATS Midwest exist: to help you determine what’s best for your district and your students.
If you want to know more about IGNITE, send us an email and we’ll be happy to help.