• Greg Jones

Reimagining the Smartforce Student Summit

Updated: Sep 8

If you’ve attended the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS, then you know that “bigger and better” is the promise that AMT organizers and our exhibit partners deliver year after year to tens of thousands of students and educators throughout Chicagoland and from across the United States. The 2020 Summit had the makings of being the best to date, with expanded, immersive student-to-tech experiences: augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), digital twin, 3D printing, and more. So it was with deep disappointment that the 2020 Summit was canceled alongside IMTS in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.


AMT and IMTS 2022 are responding to this and the nationwide call for dynamic, mobile-friendly educational content by launching the Smartforce Career & Education Experience! Developed in tandem with the IMTS Network and IMTS spark, this new platform builds on the Smartforce commitment of ushering in the next generation of manufacturing technology professionals by offering useful tools for the education community. These fun and engaging learning experiences were carefully selected to illuminate the technologies, educational pathways, and career resources that are available to students right now. 

Some of those resources include...

  • Augmented Reality experiences powered by Lingar. Students and educators can explore 3D exhibits, videos, and multimedia from key industry partners whose equipment, software applications, and services are the foundation of the manufacturing technology classroom of the future.

  • Tech It Out!, a new, two-part learning experience to generate awareness of the technologies that are transforming U.S. manufacturing today and defining the workforce skills of tomorrow. First, the Tech It Out! game show will air on Sept. 14-19 at 9:15 a.m. EDT only on the IMTS Network. Tune in each day as two teams go head to head to show off their knowledge and win cash donations for K-12 schools.

  • Tech It Out! returns Sept. 21 as a series of self-paced trivia games for students ages 14 and up. Perfect for learning at home or inside the classroom, the game introduces students to seven transformative technologies: additive, artificial intelligence (AI), AR, automation and robotics, digital twin, 5-axis machining, and generative design.

  • Career Pathways Tool. Get the facts behind the job title: education requirements, industry-recognized credentials or certificates, military occupation codes, salary averages, employment outlooks, and more. Our career pathways tool helps to reveal with it takes to secure industry positions ranging from aerospace engineer to systems administrator and beyond.

  • Mentor Matching Engine. High school students from Illinois will be able to connect with subject matter experts anytime, anywhere for help on long term research projects and more. This allows students to develop real relationships with industry mentors a critical development that has been proven to raise student skill levels and confidence. As this program develops, we hope to expand and offer this service to students in every state.

  • NIMS Online Job Board. Are you freshly certified or approaching the end of your education program and ready to enter the job market? The National Institute for Metalworking Skills has assembled a job board that puts qualified job seekers together with employers who need to fill vital positions. Jobs are posted by employers all over the country and NIMS also offers a helpful resume generator for your convenience. 


Living through 2020 has given us all the opportunity to be creative, resourceful, and unique. The Miles for Manufacturing 5K Run/Walk knows that, and we’re excited to promote this year’s event: M4M In Your Community. If you can still get out and move, we’d love you to do so. Ride your bike, go for a walk, or stroll with your children. Paddle a kayak or paddle board, climb a rock wall, or cartwheel. Put together a team and get themed costumes. Get weird. Like, really weird! We want to see! Send us your pictures and videos (submission instructions to follow). All proceeds go to STEM and manufacturing programs at schools across the United States.


This year reminds us that education isn’t necessarily confined to a single space. As we all adapt, learn, and have fun (all while staying safe), we can still carry the spirit of the Smartforce Student Summit with us. Our commitment to the next generation of manufacturing leaders is stronger than ever, and we invite you to join us on our pursuit. 

Stay tuned to AMTNews.org for more in-depth coverage of the Smartforce Career & Education Experience and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.