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In February, Dayton Elementary School opened its Design and Innovation Studio, developed in partnership with IN-MaC, STEM Education Works, and Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute, which helps students develop hands-on experience with Industry 4.0 technologies.

Through use of robotics, coding, and engineering, students in the lab learn technology skills as well as design thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, all of which are employability skills that can be applied in the future workforce. With a shortage of workers qualified to become manufacturing leaders, the lab also helps students explore new career pathways at an early age.

So far, IN-MaC, STEM Education Works, and Purdue’s Polytechnic Institute in partnership have worked with more than 15 schools to develop specialized STEM learning labs, with that number expected to grow to at least 25 by 2021.

The partners have also developed similar STEM learning labs in large manufacturing plants around Indiana, including Subaru of Indiana Automotive and Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, where students are able to collaborate directly with current innovators in manufacturing and sharpen their skills.

Indianapolis’ RTV6 recently aired a story that took viewers inside Dayton Elementary’s STEM learning lab on its “Hiring Hoosiers” segment. Check it out here.