Rockwell Automation is challenging the next generation of inventors. It’s asking future builders and makers, ages 8-17, to share ways they would make the world work better.
Through a program called “You Make It” Challenge, the industrial and automation company is looking to young innovators for the next big ideas in technology and manufacturing. The goal of tasking young builders to exercise their practical and technological creativity is to expand what is humanly possible in the space, building the next generation of tech and manufacturing innovators.
Submissions from the “You Make It” Challenge will be judged on four main criteria: purpose, innovation, creativity and presentation. Three finalists will receive a grant toward a FIRST program of their choice and an all-expenses-paid trip to Chicago, where they will be paired with a Rockwell Automation mentor to help them present their ideas to industry leaders at Automation Fair. One grand-prize winner will then receive a personal Maker Space Kit worth an estimated $7,500.
“Today’s dynamic new technologies are driving advances in nearly every profession and industrial sector – from cars to medicine,” said Blake Moret, CEO at Rockwell Automation, in a statement announcing the competition.
“But there aren’t nearly enough skilled workers to fill the open jobs created by these technologies,” added Moret. “It’s up to us, as an industrial automation and information leader, to inspire the next generation of innovators, problem solvers and makers.”
Moret is referring to a number of surveys that point to a huge increase in job growth in STEM-related occupations. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics project those jobs will nearly double --- growing to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022.
In addition to that, the skills gap, projected by Deloitte, could leave 2.4 million manufacturing job unfilled between 2018 and 2028. The potential economic impact of this gap has been pegged at $2.5 trillion.