In a study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute (2021), an estimated 2.1 million manufacturing-related jobs may go unfilled by 2030 — and this could cost the U.S. economy as much as $1 trillion. MatEdU News and its partners have reported on the manufacturing skills gap before (in this Materials Science Careers post, for example) and offered educational strategies to help mitigate it, including a new training workshop in early 2022.
A wide range of universities and colleges, including Tennessee Tech University, Edmonds College, Purdue University Northwest (links go to related programs or professors), and many others, are lining up to help educators guide students to deeper understanding and knowledge of advanced manufacturing methods, using cutting edge technology and innovative approaches.
Using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), the upcoming workshop in January 2022 will give educators the tools to, at minimum, keep up with, and hopefully outrun this seemingly faster skills gap. Manufacturers are looking for new ways to teach workers new skills and VR and AR are increasingly being used. Community college professors and high school educators can use this workshop to move to the forefront of this shift to speed up and improve training for and student awareness of manufacturing.
From January 10 – 14, 2022, this NSF-funded virtual workshop on Digital Manufacturing (DM) Instruction using Virtual Reality (VR) technology will cover VR-based digital manufacturing instruction practices.
The workshop is directed toward community college instructors and high-school teachers interested in digital manufacturing instruction using virtual reality tools and techniques. A stipend of $600 and a high-tech VR headset will be provided.
Please apply for the workshop only if you can commit to attend the entire workshop and complete the workshop requirements. Application deadline is December 10, 2021. Applicants can apply via the 2022 Digital Manufacturing online application here, including the full expectations and requirements. The number of participants is limited to 30 and successful applicants will be announced by mid-December. Contact information for the outreach coordinator, Michelle Davis, at the Center for Manufacturing Research, Tennessee Tech University, is also at the main application link above.
Learn more about how Project MANEUVER (Manufacturing Education Using Virtual Environment Resources; NSF Award # 1700674) is developing an affordable VR framework.