Technical staff from MSU CAVS-Extension visited the Franklin County School District in May as a part of its Industry 4.0 Skills Accelerator program. The program is focused on exposing industry and the K-12 community to Industry 4.0 (i4.0), which represents the 4th Industrial Revolution and is characterized by the use of interconnectivity, automation, and real-time data to move toward smart machines and smart factories. The event involved the demonstration of i4.0 technologies to 94 students in the 9th grade at Franklin County Middle School. It was supported by Franklin County Career Tech teachers and students, administrative staff, and a representative from AccelerateMS. Students were provided with an overview of i4.0 and the career opportunities in advanced manufacturing, as well as hands-on engagement with collaborative robots (cobots), an autonomous mobile robot, and virtual reality. The students gained insight into how to program the robots and participated in interactive obstacle-course type activities. In addition, virtual reality (VR) demo activities were provided that allowed students to perform scavenger hunts and take measurements in a VR environment. This event was designed to provide the students with exposure to advanced manufacturing technologies and open the discussion for the types of jobs available in technical fields.
While availability is limited, schools can request demonstrations that are available in the early Fall of 2023 at here.