Oasis students earn honors for Tech Express

WNC course, mobile lab prepare students to become first high schoolers in state to receive certification

From left are instructor Emily Howarth, Oasis Academy student Donovan May and WNC Director Jessica Rowe.

From left are instructor Emily Howarth, Oasis Academy student Donovan May and WNC Director Jessica Rowe.

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Leah Bake and Donovan May of Oasis Academy College Prep are the first two SACA-certified high school students in Nevada to receive training for a special honor in Western Nevada College’s unique Tech Express mobile lab.

The Smart Automation Certification Alliance Certified Industry 4.0 Associate-Basic Operations credential is nationally recognized and will give the students an advantage if they choose to work in the manufacturing or robotics industry. It represents a partnership between education and industry for entry level access to workforce credentials and is endorsed by international partners such as Fanuc and Rockwell Automation.

Bake and Donovan tested during the WNC dual enrollment class. They received online instruction and in-person lab time receive hands-on instruction in the college’s new Tech Express Lab once per week since their WNC Automation and Industrial Technology 198 course began at the end of March.

This certification exam was part of the six-week course, which provides them with an understanding of Industry 4.0 factory floor automation equipment and processes and gives them modern career possibilities in automation.

“Luckily for me, mechanical and engineering types of jobs and lessons are my thing, so I actually found it quite a lot of fun,” Donovan said. “In a normal class like Algebra, we learn things most people won't really ever use such as parabolas, although everything in AIT is applicable to real life. I want to take some of the other AIT classes such as robotics. I hope that in the near future I will be able to find jobs in this field.”

From left are Emily Howarth, Oasis Academy student Leah Bake and Jessica Rowe, director of Fallon Campus & Rural Outreach.

Students in the class had another opportunity to pass the certification in late April.

The intensive six-week class was taught by WNC Professor Emily Howarth. The grant-funded mobile lab is serving as a novel way for WNC to bring rural community outreach with the college’s high-tech and hands-on courses to #MakeItInNevada.

“Western Nevada College is proud to lead the way with opportunities to earn certifications that tie to what is actually going on in high-tech industries through the emergence of Industry 4.0,” Howarth said. “This silver level certification is for individuals seeking to become familiar with Industry 4.0 factory floor automation equipment and processes and we are moving fast to respond to what future careers will be built upon. Technology moves at the speed of business and we are able to offer these responsive opportunities to lead the way to modern careers in automation.”

Students experienced an immersive experience through learning a large volume of new material quickly, including concepts of smart manufacturing, blueprint reading, and basic fundamentals of electrical, pneumatic, precision measurement and robotic systems.

SACA’s goal is to develop and provide modular industry 4.0 certifications for a variety of industries. The non-profit organization is determined to provide more highly skilled workers to companies and increase worker success rates.
For more information about the program, contact Howarth at emily.howarth@wnc.edu.


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