In March, 76 runners met before dawn at The MFG Meeting in Amelia Island, Fla., to run the event’s Miles for Manufacturing 5K. Weeks later, AMT Vice President – Smartforce Development Greg Jones visited Titusville, Fla., to present a MakerGear 3D printer to Imperial Estates Elementary School that was donated with race proceeds.

Located in the heart of the Space Coast, Imperial Estates Elementary School integrates STEM programs into its curriculum and after-school clubs. “The 3D printer helps connect STEM in the classroom to the space industry,” said Imperial Estates Elementary School Principal Kathryn Lott. “Our sixth-grade students attend Space Week at the Kennedy Space Center. We regularly invite professionals from our community to talk about their work and how STEM can help students to determine ‘what problem they want to solve’ when they grow up.”

“STEM programs like the one at Imperial Estates foster skills and passion for aerospace, expose young students to careers in the space industry, and establish a firm STEM foundation in students as they advance through STEM curriculum in local middle, high and post-secondary schools,” said Bryan Kamm, Founder and Managing Principal of Kamm Consulting Group and a member of the New Space Coast Consortium, which promotes STEM in local schools. Mr. Kamm introduced Imperial Estates Elementary School as a donor candidate for M4M. 

The New Space Coast Consortium is led by local manufacturing companies, including RUAG Space USA and OneWeb Satellites, and aims to strengthen collaboration between local industry, education and government stakeholders to foster aerospace workforce skills on the Space Coast through apprenticeship programs and industry-school interactions.

IMTS and GIE Media sponsor the M4M 5K, a series of races held throughout the year at manufacturing events. All runner registration fees go toward STEM education programs that prepare students for careers in manufacturing.