Launching a new partnership to advance student's careers in manufacturing

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Some 3.5 million manufacturing jobs are expected to become available in the United States by 2025, yet 2 million of those skilled jobs are estimated to go unfilled due to a skills gap. HUNCH and PRIME are helping to solve this crisis by preparing and developing youth to become America’s future manufacturing workforce. 


NASA HUNCH and the SME Education Foundation are announcing a new partnership to introduce even more high school students to manufacturing career paths. Through HUNCH’s exemplary program, PRIME schools will have the opportunity to build actual hardware for NASA and work on real-world design solutions that will improve the quality of life aboard the International Space Station (ISS). HUNCH schools will be eligible to become part of the powerful PRIME network, which includes access to updated equipment and curriculum, teacher training, scholarships and tailored engagements with local manufacturers. The partnership between HUNCH and PRIME has a natural synergy. Both organizations have student programs that promote advanced manufacturing and STEM education, as well as engineering and technology careers. The HUNCH and PRIME programs provide students with relevant handson experience using current industry equipment and technologies.

NASA’s High School Students United With NASA Creating Hardware (HUNCH)


Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) was established by the SME Education Foundation in 2011 to build a collaborative network of students, educators, and industry to drive interest and awareness in manufacturing careers and train the next generation manufacturing workforce. PRIME provides high school students opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skillsets and pathways to pursue careers as engineers and skilled technologists with expertise involving mechatronics, welding, CNC programming, robotics, and much more. PRIME schools utilize real-world manufacturing curricula, teachers receive industry-driven training, and students gain practical experience using state-of-the-art technology and equipment deployed in industry. Since the program began in 2011, PRIME has impacted more than 40,000 students — of which 7,500 were enrolled in the PRIME program in 2016. 


NASA’s High School Students United With NASA Creating Hardware (HUNCH) program provides students with a real-world, project-based learning opportunity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). HUNCH students from more than 100 high schools across the United States create hardware for use in both space flight and training applications. This 14-year-old program also includes design and prototype, soft goods, software development and communications products. There’s even a culinary component in which students compete to have their food product flown to the International Space Station (ISS) for crew consumption. To date, students participating in the HUNCH program have designed and/or manufactured more than 160 items for use on the ISS. Additionally, HUNCH has commenced work with other ongoing NASA programs on projects supporting the future of long-duration missions. Of the more than 20,000 students who have participated in the program, approximately 94 percent have pursued undergraduate degrees following high school graduation.