LIFT Provides Students a Preview of the Learning Lab

LIFT opened the doors to its brand-new Learning Lab to students and faculty from Detroit’s UPrep schools, as well as to local stakeholders and investors in the lab earlier this month.

The students toured the lab and the LIFT facility as part of UPrep’s Summer Bridge program, which provides students with an opportunity to see what the school has to offer for the next school year. As previously announced, 100 students from UPrep’s Science & Math High School will enroll in LIFT’s IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing curriculum at the Learning Lab beginning this fall.

Developed by a national partnership led by LIFT, and supported by funding from the Department of Defense, “IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing” is a three-year, foundational, competency-based educational program for the “multi-skilled technician” needed in today’s workplace.

The new LIFT Learning Lab will host the students each school day, providing them a unique, immersive learning environment housed in a nationally-recognized applied research and development facility. Among the learning spaces in the lab are the Fundamental Manufacturing Skills Development Lab, CNC Operations and Welding Technicians Training Centers, and Smart Factory lab.

The national partners include: Amatrol, providing best-in-class interactive learning solutions to master technical systems and solve problems; the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, globally recognized as the leading provider of industry-developed, competency-based machining skill standards and credentials; Amatrol, the PAST Foundation, which helps schools and districts develop transformative learning strategies; ASM Materials Education Foundation, which supports the advancement of scientific and engineering knowledge through education and research; The Ohio State University, one of LIFT’s founders, and two other national manufacturing innovation institutes focused on digital and additive manufacturing – MxD and America Makes.

“Preparing the next generation of the U.S. advanced manufacturing workforce has been part of our mission since Day One,” Emily DeRocco, vice president, education and workforce development, LIFT. “The LIFT Learning Lab, featuring the IGNITE curriculum and hosting the UPrep students for their manufacturing skills development, brings that mission to fruition, and we are looking forward to helping these young men and women become America’s 21st century innovators and manufacturers.”

Also this summer, nearly 20 of the region’s finest teachers participated in an ASM Material Science Bootcamp exploring experiments and activities in the Materials Science Lab to take back to their classrooms, and over a dozen middle and high school young scientists conducted their research with guidance from EcoTek’s founding engineer in the Materials Science and Project Fabrication Labs.  Already, the LIFT Learning Lab is becoming a regional economic and workforce development asset.

If you would like to learn more about the Learning Lab, or would like to request a tour, please contact us at