DEARBORN, Mich., May 8, 2012 -"Reality" is their genre, connectivity in their DNA. The SME Education Foundation and its industry partners have a laser focus on Gen Y -72 million Americans born between 1977 and 1994 with a goal to change their perception of manufacturing and prime the pump for manufacturing careers they need to consider. The Foundation has provided $100,000 in additional funding to The Edge Factor, a film and media company that features real life manufacturing stories.
Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation says, "The response we've received across the board dictated our willingness to fund this media-based initiative. We believe the video series, design competition, and providing teachers with tools to reach and inspire students will greatly energize their learning experience. They need and deserve real-life, first-hand tutorials to help them make career choices."
Edge Factor's ultimate goal: to revolutionize the stereotype of manufacturing as a "dark and dirty" industry to one that is filled with extreme technology, advanced innovations and modern, exhilarating careers for the next generation. Jeremy Bout is the Producer and President of Edge Factor, a Canadian-based company that produces three products: a HD film series called the Edge Factor Show, the Reality Redesigned student design contest, and is in development of their third product, educational resources, called EduFactor.
A majority of Gen Y engages in video games and instant messaging, is averse to taking risks, distrusts mass media, and responds to loud and quick visuals, audio and music. It favors programs and messages reflecting its lifestyles and core values, and that have humor and emotion.
Edge Factor has designed a winning customized program responding to this Gen-Y group and their core values. "This can't be about next month's sales figures," says Bout. "This is about inspiration, it's about next year's enrollment, and in 5 years, it's going to be your workforce. Manufacturing is more than invention; it's the fabric that made our nation great."
"Metal & Flesh," the third in the series produced by The Edge Factor Show, showcases Mike Schultz and Brian Alaniz - courageous and innovative young men, each of whom when faced with the loss of a leg as a result of a calamitous accident, were challenged, able to overcome tremendous personal adversity, and today are back competing and winning titles.
Schultz, began riding snowmobiles when he was 8 years old, turned pro in 2003/2004, and signed with Warnert Racing. While battling for a transfer spot coming down a hill during a qualifying race at a snocross competition, the machine began swaying side to side forcing him to jump off landing feet first. His knee locked straight when he hit, so it crushed the knee joint and hyper extended it. The knee joint was torn apart resulting in a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula. Mike lost his leg below the knee nearly costing him his life. In the spring when snowmobiling with his new prosthesis didn't work out, and hearing about Adaptive Action Sports, he was inspired to design his own leg.
His design was based on the FOX mountain bike shock which is the main resistance for the knee joint. Another bike shock was designed for the foot. Mike's custom-design weighs 13.5 pounds, has a microprocessor knee and is only 1.5 pounds heavier than the normal human leg. Later, while competing at the Snocross X Games, Mike won the Gold Metal and later, many other awards in a series of other competitions. His new company, BioDapt, Inc., is based on innovative design engineering for the knee which continues to drive his enthusiasm for competing and making a difference.
"Metal & Flesh" also features Keith Deutsch, a committed snowboarder and Irag veteran who lost his right leg and knee in Iraq. He and his unit were ambushed, their vehicle being hit from behind by an RPG, which landed two feet away from him. He was featured in a story by Bill Redeker of ABC News while in Breckenridge, Colo. participating in an annual, week-long excursion offered by Disabled Vets USA. Outfitted with a special boot, mechanical knee (his Moto Knee) and prosthetic leg, he found he remembered how to ride. Said Deutsch, "A month and a half after I lost my leg, I was back up on snow."
The film closes with a helicopter lift-off, and Mike and Keith moving down the mountain with a tight cut illustrating the engineering involved in the design of the leg's joints. Parts fly apart to showcase the design, and then reassemble. The voice-over then challenges aspiring engineers, "Who will be the ones to say this idea will happen, who will be the ones to turn a dream into reality?
The second facet of this media and educational initiative is "Reality Redesigned," a student design contest, based on the "Gnarly Metal" episode, which featured Straitline Components, a British Columbia-based manufacturer of mountain bike gear and components. The film features machining technologies supporting new designs for various elements of a mountain bike that could change the game for slopestyle riders forever. "Gnarly Metal" inspired Edge Factor to invite students to submit innovative mountain bike design ideas in one of the three categories: component, frame or suspension. Contestants were invited to submit explanations, pictures and video of their design to the Reality Redesigned contest. The top 9 winners will be awarded prizes valued at up to $40,000.
The competition for Reality Redesigned's "People's Choice Awards" was conducted over three successive weeks on the world's largest mountain biking website, Pinkbike, with non-cumulative voters selected each week. Out of more than 10,000 votes cast for the top 5 designs, the people spoke: "Michael" was the winning designer for his "All Mountain Gearbox Frame," and took home the Intense custom prize bike and Drift Camera. "Kudos to Michael, says Jeremy Bout, "for reaching out to his university peers, a body of 50,000 plus students, and having his design qualify as the top People's Choice Award."
"The purpose of my design, says Michael, "was to visualize a strong, lightweight and aesthetically beautiful gearbox frame. The frame features a sealed gearbox, and 160mm travel suspension travel with a rearward arc wheel path."
EduFactor is the third facet of the program now being developed. It will potentially provide teachers across the country with the "Metal & Flesh" video, as well as the first two Edge Factor episodes, "Chilean Mine Rescue," and "Gnarly Metal," to illustrate the application of design and manufacturing processes to real-life situations.
The Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT), Cintas, Doosan, Drift, Koma Precision, Mastercam, Morris South, Okuma, Renishaw, Sandvik Coromont, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), SME Education Foundation (SME-EF), Solidworks, Mastercam, SolidCAM, and Straitline Components. Media Partners: Manufacturing Engineering and Modern Machine Shop.
About SME Education Foundation:
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists for the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at www.smeef.org. Also visit www.CareerMe.org for information on advanced manufacturing careers and www.ManufacturingisCool.com, our award-winning website for young people.
Media Contact: Bart A. Aslin, chief executive officer, SME Education Foundation, (313) 425-3302, email@example.com; Jeremy Bout, producer, The Edge Factor, (905) 563-9547, firstname.lastname@example.org.