NASA’s HUNCH and SME’s PRIME are preparing to close the skills gap by developing youth into America’s future manufacturing workforce.
Schools are finally catching on to the looming skills gap and taking the first step to showing students the opportunities in advanced manufacturing. While SME has been a powerful force in making this possible for years, they have recently partnered with NASA’s HUNCH to help draw students from high school towards manufacturing.
HUNCH (High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware) is an innovative educational initiative which gives High School students the opportunity to create hardware with the help of NASA. Materials, equipment, and mentoring is provided by NASA to these student HUNCH teams across the country. Under HUNCH, schools have been able to produce single stowage lockers, 3 minute educational videos, and experiments proposed to fly on the ISS. Students have created an organizer for crew quarters on the International Space Station (ISS), as well as black boxes and an EPM Rack. Since HUNCH’s creation in 2003, hundreds of items for NASA have been produced by the students of HUNCH.
The SME Education Foundation has united its Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) initiative with HUNCH to design and fabricate hardware to be used by NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers in their training programs and at the ISS.
“By combining our PRIME network with NASA’s HUNCH program and working together to further expand the number of schools in the combined network, we can provide more students with access to a STEM and manufacturing focused education using hands-on learning experiences,” said Brian Glowiak, vice president of the SME Education Foundation. “Through this partnership we are motivating youth to consider careers in manufacturing and preparing them with the skill sets and knowledge to succeed.”
HUNCH and PRIME are not only building awareness within the students of the opportunities that exist, but also providing them with skills acquired through hands-on training that will benefit their future success. Furthermore, the students will have the ability to leave their mark on space history.