Industrial education was born a couple hundred years ago when the United States was evolving from an agricultural society to an industrial society. Industry 4.0 career pathways need to begin as early as elementary in our STEM programs. Buckeye Educational Systems has worked with the leaders of our industry for the last five years to develop programs to provide these pathways to students.
Industrial Arts 4.0
It's time for a revolution! Industrial education was born a couple hundred years ago when the United States was evolving from an agricultural society to an industrial society. Prior to the industrial revolution people worked on farms. Then we had the advent of mechanization and steam power. Machines were born! Welcome to Industry 1.0, or in educational speak, welcome Machine Shop!
A hundred years or so later electricity was invented and brought into our society to power and run machines. Early machines that were powered by grain, grass and water were now running on electricity. Now the world switched to an industrial society, and was now making things out of metal. This created the need for bridges, buildings, railroads and infrastructure. Welcome Industry 2.0, or in educational speak, welcome Metal Shop!
Fast forward to 1968, the beginning of the Computer Age. This is the time that many of us grew up. So much happened during this time! Machines were now being connected to chips and processors which allowed them to run and respond to inputs and outputs. Everything became computerized, not only in industry, but also in our homes and daily lives. This evolved quickly through typewriters, word processors, Commodore 64 computers, DOS, Apple IOS, Windows, PLC’s, Robots, CNC, Cell Phones, networks, the internet, WIFI, Satellite Communications, Space Travel and on and on. Welcome Industry 3.0, or in educational speak, welcome Industrial Technology, Computer Science, Digital Media, Robotics and Automation and Mechatronics!
Finally, around 2018, we entered the 4th Industrial Revolution, and the advent of Industry 4.0. Most of us didn’t realize it! This is an evolution of the revolution. We are still building with wood and metals, using electrical machines and devices that are controlled with chips and processors. But now, via this new Smart Technology, sensors and control systems are integrated that continuously collect data. This data is available via the cloud and is analyzed by computer systems and artificial intelligence systems.
Our every movement and action produce data. Industry 4.0 is intertwined into every sector, every career, and every person in our communities. In education speak, all students should have a knowledge of and skill in mechanical, basic electrical, measurement, computers and applications, data analytics, artificial intelligence, smart sensors, and devices.
We need technicians! 70% of the jobs Intel is bringing into our state are technician level jobs. And it doesn’t stop at Intel. The demand for quality technicians will only increase. Educationally we are not doing enough to introduce and prepare students for these careers. Industry 4.0 career pathway exploration needs to begin as early as the elementary grades in our STEM programs. We need students to leave middle school understanding career pathway sectors and with skills in electrical and mechanical systems, how to measure and collect data and then analyze that data to make decisions.
When they reach high school, students need to have selected a career pathway. We need technician level programs (Industrial Arts 4.0) that allow them to gain stackable industry credentials across a range of pathways. Students need to understand their specific aptitudes and how they want to use them in a career within their community that they can eventually raise their family in!
Our current educational infrastructure is not capable of meeting the demand we have. Even if we filled every CTE program and community college classroom the problem doesn’t get solved. We need to start introducing and preparing all students with these skills and knowledge in every elementary program, middle school and high school. In education speak, welcome modern industrial arts 4.0 programs!
Buckeye Educational Systems has worked with the leaders of our industry for the last five years to develop programs to provide these pathways to students across the state of Ohio. Our partners gathered industrial experts that defined the knowledge and skills needed to prepare a workforce for the future of work and then created curriculum and equipment to prepare the Industry 4.0 Athletes of the Future!