Take the kids out for a fun and educational outing and chances are good that you’ll be involving them in the arts, or maybe a little nature study. If Bentonville’s Amazeum is an indication, though, there are alternatives that could improve America’s manufacturing future.
The Amazeum is supported by area businesses, and may be the most strongly branded museum you will ever see. From the Walmart area where kids get to play with logistics as they load trucks with simple machines and pneumatic tubes to the Nickelodeon area where kids get to play with animation, nearly every section of the colorful children’s museum lets kids get a sense of how workers spend their time.
The picture above shows a lathe exhibit. There are quite a few opportunities to enjoy machines and manufacturing, and this may be a good way to win back the hearts of the next generation to manufacturing.
A robotics exhibit in Loveland, Colorado introduced kids to sensors and servos.
There’s broad consensus at this point that industry, educators, and the government need to work together to reduce the skills gap and make sure we have a workforce prepared to shape the future of manufacturing. Maybe educational exhibits that focus on what’s cool in industry can do the trick — and maybe industry can fund this effort. The return on investment could be significant.