Providing Industry 4.0, STEM opportunities to students

A partnership between Endress+Hauser and the Purdue Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC) provide students the ability to develop STEM skills and learn more about Industry 4.0. See video.

By Chris Vavra December 15, 2022
Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology

STEM insights

  • Endress+Hauser’s Design and Innovation Studio is designed to provide STEM-learning opportunities in Central Indiana for primarily younger students to get them interested in science and technology and provide a fun learning perspective.
  • The studio offers tutorials on many manufacturing topics such as robotics, coding and additive manufacturing, which have a growing role in manufacturing.

Endress+Hauser’s Design and Innovation Studio in Greenwood, Ind., is equipped with Industry 4.0 technology and STEM-learning opportunities for students K-8 as well as applications for high school students. The center offers education and tutorials in 3D printing, robotics, engineering and science modules and coding. Teachers can reserve the space as an extension of their classroom activities as all curriculum is aligned with Indiana State Standards.

In a video interview, Nicole Otte, director of workforce development for Endress+Hauser, discussed the project and its impact on students in the greater Indiana area as well as plans for the future.

Otte said Endress+Hauser first connected with IN-MaC through an internship grant in 2020 that allowed us to use reimbursement funding for our college interns from Purdue and Ivy Tech to fund our first paid high school interns in the 2020-21 school year. They also partnered with IN-MaC for a micro-grant to help in the transition of our Community Career+Education Forum from a live event to a virtual event during COVID.

“We were trying to figure out how are we going to create this event and make it virtual,” Otte said, which led to them pivoting toward the Design & Innovation Studios. They were looking to get more hands-on training and development.

“There had been a few of them already in the state with automotive manufacturers,” she said. “They were to the north and south of us, but nowhere in our local area.”

This inspired them to apply for a local grant and implement the innovation studio and start building a network with the local schools and building connections with educators and students.

Both sides, Otte said, also had specific goals in mind for the project.

“Our main goal was continuing that path of getting students at an early age and exposed to a career. IN-MaC also gave us the opportunity to create and design a replica of an innovation studio at one of our local schools,” she said. It was made easier, Otte added, because they also already had a space, teacher and an existing STEM program available.

“In terms of expectations from IN-MaC, they want to make sure we’re inviting schools and have them here on a regular basis,” Otte said.

Otte said the program, overall, has been successful with a Girls, Inc. visit in the summer and plans in place for an intermediate school of 450 students to visit the Design & Innovation Studio on a rotating basis so all the students get equal amounts of exposure.

Chris Vavra is web content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology,


See videos with more information on past projects below.

2018 Community Career+Education Forum (CCEF)

2020 Community Career+Education Forum (CCEF – Virtual)

Author Bio: Chris Vavra is web content manager for CFE Media and Technology.