Congratulations to freshman Ryland Mihalcin and junior Troy Randall, they are the first Brookfield High School students
to earn a silver SACA (Smart Automation Certification Alliance) certification
in Basic Operations! The certificate makes Mihalcin and Randall Industry 4.0 Associates, meaning they are knowledgeable in lean manufacturing principles, safety, electrical and pneumatic circuits, automation, and more. Even more impressive is that both earned this certification by taking a class that’s available to all students at Brookfield High School as part of their daily course schedule - Industry 4.0.
New to the district this year, Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, integrates the cyber world and the physical world of robotics, CNC machining, programmable controllers, and mechatronics. The Introduction to Mechatronics course at Brookfield High School is designed to introduce students to basic concepts of automation and manufacturing processes used in Industry 4.0. Students gain hands-on experience in safety, AC/DC electricity, fluid power, electronic sensors, measurement, print reading, electrical relays, and robotics by utilizing equipment and machinery available to them in the school’s lab.
The hands-on experience is what helps students prepare for the certification examinations. These examinations are the same ones local companies like Tenaris
, and McDonald Steel
administer to newly hired employees. Those who successfully pass them are awarded either a Silver (written knowledge) or Gold (hands-on performance and written knowledge) certification. By providing this opportunity here at school, Brookfield High students who receive Industry 4.0 certification already have an advantage over other job seekers and can go from graduation to a lucrative career almost immediately.
“I can take this paper, apply for a job in this field, and I can immediately get put on the top of the employee list,” Mihalcin says. “I am 15 years old and I have a certification in Industry 4.0 that some adults don’t have, it’s a little bit mind-blowing.”
“This certification is an excellent resource to have just in case I need something to fall back on later in life,” Randall says. “While I don’t plan to pursue a career in this field currently, you never know what could happen, but this certification ensures I can get a job in the industry if I need one.”
Mihalcin and Randall say they plan to continue in the class for as long as possible to keep earning Industry 4.0 certifications.