U.S. manufacturers need your creativity and technological savvy – lead the way! Manufacturing in the United States is facing a critical shortage of engineers and technicians. A whole generation is retiring, and there are not enough qualified young people to replace them. Contrary to headlines, the United States is a world leader in precision manufacturing and innovation. Today's manufacturing is complex and high-tech, requiring problem-solvers with good STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Will you be part of the solution?

See the trailer for "Metal & Flesh," showing how American manufacturing is taking the industry to the next level of cool!

What will my classes be like?

Learn up close how things are made. Is the process for making a water bottle the same as a musical instrument? How are assembly lines designed and automated? Through your growing knowledge of the history, principles, and processes of manufacturing, you will design and build your own automated manufacturing system, factoring in safety, quality, cost, and efficiency. Use technologies in your projects that have revolutionized manufacturing:

  • computer modeling
  • computer numeric control (CNC) technology
  • computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software
  • robotics
  • flexible manufacturing systems

Examples of advanced manufacturing careers -- what do they do?

Curriculum Topics

This is not a comprehensive list of all available skills and goals, but it is given to show the scope of the curriculum. Computer Integrated Manufacturing is a high school-level course that is appropriate for students interested in manufacturing and automation. It is recommended that students are concurrently enrolled in college preparatory mathematics and science courses.

The course of study includes:

  • computer modeling
  • programmable machining using CNCs and CAM software
  • robotics in manufacturing
  • principles of manufacturing
  • manufacturing processes
  • elements of automation
  • integration of manufacturing elements

​​CIM is one of the specialized courses in Waconia's PLTW Pathway to Engineering course sequence. Students who have successfully completed the foundation courses Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) and Principles of Engineering (POE) at WHS can easily transition to this course. For maximum recognition or credit from PLTW-affiliated colleges and universities, it is recommended that a student successfully complete the two foundation courses, one specialized course, and the capstone course. Some affiliates give recognition or credit on a course-by-course basis.