As engineers and fabricators of automation machinery, the team at Northfield Automation Systems has extensive experience in the fields of science and technology. The passion our team has for engineering and manufacturing did not happen by chance.
Educational backgrounds in a variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields provides us with opportunities to explore, experiment and use our expertise to work collaboratively, ensuring innovative solutions for our customers.
Looking Toward the Future
STEM has become a household term over the past few years. As technology continues to expand into every aspect of everyday life, the importance of STEM education is being recognized more and more. STEM schools have popped up across the nation, focusing students’ learning on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and many traditional public schools have started STEM initiatives in their buildings in an effort to prepare students for the future.
According to the National Science Foundation, “In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”
In a recent article, we discussed the increasing demand for a highly skilled, knowledgeable automation workforce. The need for STEM classes is greater today than ever before. Between 2017 and 2027, the number of STEM jobs will grow 13 percent, compared to nine percent for non-STEM jobs. Careers in computing, engineering and advanced manufacturing are projected to be the fastest growing occupations for the foreseeable future. Joining STEM-related teams and taking STEM-focused classes, like robotics, can help prepare students for careers in this rapidly growing market.
Northfield Automation Systems recognizes the importance of providing students with opportunities to experiment with engineering through hands-on learning experiences. As a long-time supporter of the Northfield High School robotics team, Northfield Automation Systems recently donated parts and mechanical and electronic components to the team. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Principal Engineer Dr. Gary Larsen and Controls Engineer Tim Valley are hopeful that this donation sparks a greater passion for engineering in students.
Valley notes, “Northfield Automation Systems wanted to get components into the hands of local students that they may not otherwise have the chance to experiment with. Our hope is that having access to these items leads to the desire for some of Northfield’s high schoolers to consider a future in engineering.”
The Northfield High School robotics team is a member of the FIRST Robotics community, a not-for-profit public charity created to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.
Northfield High School FIRST Robotics Advisor Mark Woitalla says, “Northfield Automation Systems has been supportive of our team over the years. We are grateful for the companies and individuals in our community that lend us a hand, both financially and through mentorship. It is important for our students to see the real-world impact engineering has on lives, and the support we get from community members like Northfield Automation Systems makes that possible for us.”
The Next Generation of Innovators
Our team of designers and engineers has several decades of combined experience in automation and process equipment manufacturing. With educational backgrounds spanning engineering, physics, mathematics and more, Northfield Automation Systems understands the importance of providing young people with the right tools to help them find their passions. Through STEM promotion, students are exposed to careers that are – and will continue to be – in high demand.
If the United States wants to remain a leader in the global electronics industry, it is important to show students at an early age that STEM careers can be exciting, creative and fulfilling. In giving students opportunities to explore STEM, we are helping to build the next generation of innovators.