New Advanced Manufacturing Curriculum

Staff report


East High School will be one of three schools in the country piloting a new advanced manufacturing curriculum starting in January.

“This is the future we need to get our students ready for the future,” said Joe Meranto, district superintendent.

The other schools are in Waukegan, Ill., and Sterling Heights, Mich.

Developed by LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow – a Manufacturing USA institute, and supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing, is a three-year model to prepare students for multi-skilled technician jobs.

America Makes is supporting the program.

The IGNITE curriculum pairs learning with project-based experiences built around real-industry problems and emerging technologies to prepare students for a 21st century production environment. It also prepares students for additional post-secondary education to become engineering technicians, technologists or engineers.

Eileen Pickett, LIFT workforce education program manager, said the program will help create a new way of thinking about manufacturing and all the careers that come with it.

“It’s about technology, robotics and more,” she said. “It’s not just about getting a job, but thinking about a career … It’s really special.”

District CEO Krish Mohip said he’s thankful for the partners that were able to bring the program together.

“When you look at what manufacturing is today, it’s machines laying bricks and building homes and printing homes. It’s not about a skilled-labor force, but [about the] skills necessary – math, literacy, science and coding,” Mohip said.