IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing | Amatrol High School Technical Education Program


To access a PDF version of the IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing brochure, please click here.

Are your Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs preparing your students for the highly-skilled, high-paying jobs available throughout industry today? IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing combines self-directed eLearning with real-world equipment to teach students the hands-on, transferable skills industry needs. Advanced materials, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and other Industry 4.0 technologies have created many new exciting career opportunities, but also require a new set of knowledge and abilities. Individuals in today’s world must possess state-of-the-art technical skills, systems optimization skills, and employability skills, such as teamwork.


Thanks to funding by the Department of Defense, the Manufacturing USA Institutes developed a competency model foundation for the “multi-skilled technician” needed in today’s manufacturing workplace. That model has been translated to an educational pathway that recognizes the next generation of manufacturing technical workforce must, in fact, be a workforce of high-skilled technicians who:

  • Possess knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Understand materials science
  • Optimize manufacturing technologies, processes, and systems

Due in part to varying employment needs, significant challenges await manufacturers who need workers with “up-scaled” knowledge and skills, known as advanced manufacturing. The requirements mean the U.S. has to teach and train our next generation of manufacturers differently.

Many educational institutions have intensified their efforts to dedicate more resources to teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. However, teaching STEM subjects alone is not enough. Educators must align programs with the needs of the evolving workplace to produce students prepared for the technical and technology-driven jobs available throughout industry today.


IGNITE is a foundational skill development program designed to stimulate student interest in today’s Advanced Manufacturing / Industry 4.0 careers. Students learn about the many careers and experience them firsthand by performing tasks with hands-on Industry 4.0 / IIoT technology and virtual environments.

IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing was developed in collaboration with three Manufacturing USA Institutes (LIFTAmerica Makes, and MxD) to ensure that students interested in a rewarding career in modern industry can make an immediate contribution in the workplace. The IGNITE curriculum is the perfect blend of career exploration, creative learning, and skill development. IGNITE establishes critical skills in systems-thinking and team problem-solving through creative project-based learning activities and a structured curriculum.

IGNITE Program Overview


Using IGNITE, students will be exposed to a variety of industries and technologies. The student goals of the program include:

  • Inspiration: Inspire today’s students to consider a rewarding career in advance manufacturing
  • College Credit: Get a jumpstart on postsecondary education by earning college credits
  • Career Exploration: Explore jobs from product design to product fabrication and everything in between
  • Industry-Recognized Certifications: Aligns with industry-recognized 3rd party occupational certifications, including SACA and MSSC
  • Preparation for Smart Factories: Preparation for Smart Factory technology, including Industry 4.0 & IIoT

IGNITE’s innovative curriculum supports a modular 6-course Advanced Manufacturing program, with additional materials science activities for science courses. Each course can be completed in one semester, providing flexibility for 1-, 2, or 3-year programs. All IGNITE courses include stimulating interactive eLearning lessons, computer simulations, design projects, and hands-on workstations using Industry 4.0 technologies.

Students begin with foundational topics, such as safety, measurement, hand tools, print reading, and materials science. They then move on to learn relevant knowledge and hands-on skills related to a wide variety of topics essential in modern industry, including: AC/DC electricity; fluid power; machine tools; mechanical drives; electrical relay control; computer-aided design and manufacturing; CNC machine operation and programming; materials engineering; electrical fabrication; plastics and mold design; welding; and lean manufacturing.


To engage and reach students with a variety of learning styles, IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing features a robust combination of learning methods to provide an outstanding learning experience that includes both comprehensive theoretical knowledge and practical, hands-on skills valuable throughout industry. Examples include:


The IGNITE eLearning curriculum offers flexible, self-directed technical training with comprehensive content and exceptional interactivity for practical skill development. It features a highly-interactive, multimedia format that includes stunning 3D graphics and videos, voiceovers of all text, and interactive exercises designed to appeal to learners with different learning styles.

The eLearning courses take deep dives into:

  • Technical Skills: Learning Industry 4.0 technical skills becomes an energizing experiences for students with IGNITE’s state-of-the-art interactive multimedia curriculum.
  • Employability Skills: IGNITE’s courses include eLearning lessons that teach employability skills — such as teamwork, communication, and professionalism — which are essential to workplace success.

To help instructor’s gauge student comprehension and engagement, the curriculum also includes assessment quizzes, as well as classroom-based skills assessment via Amatrol’s exclusive Skill Boss Manufacturing performance assessment tool. To learn more about interactive eLearning, click here.

Virtual Trainers

The IGNITE curriculum features Virtual Trainers, which are simulators embedded in eLearning lessons to provide online skill practice. They replicate hands-on equipment in such great detail that learners will feel like they are using the actual equipment as they perform the industry-based tasks. Learners perform essentially the same jobs using virtual trainers that they would using the hands-on systems, bringing industrial realism to online learning. Amatrol’s Virtual Trainers:

  • Build essential skills without access to actual equipment — Ideal for distance learning!
  • Exist in open workspace — Not forced along predetermined steps
  • Reduce hands-on time with equipment to complete skill mastery

To learn more about hands-on Virtual Trainers, click here.

IGNITE eLearning Curriculum
Amatrol T7017A AC DC Electrical Learning System Virtual Simulator Sample
IGNITE Team Projects Graphic
IGNITE Mini-Projects Graphic


As students progress through each IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing course, they will also work in teams on exciting team-based projects and mini-projects using industry-specific new and emerging technologies and equipment to solve real-world problems. Through each project, teams will research ideas, develop multiple solutions, analyze and select the best solution, build a prototype, and evaluate their results.

The projects also provide students with an additional opportunity to learn and practice common employability skills. These skills are foundational to success in the workplace regardless of a person’s career field or professional position. They include competencies such as communications skills, the ability to work on a team, and problem solving.

Team-Based Projects:

IGNITE students apply their technical and employability skills to real-world problems through fun, creative team-based thematic projects where students design, fabricate, and analyze working prototype devices.

    • Solar-Powered Fuel Cell
    • Hovercraft
    • Automatic-Controlled Hydroponic Garden
      Ergonomic Workstation
    • Automated Can Crusher
    • Smart House Control System
      Solar-Powered Clean Water & Power
    • Drone Delivery Service
    • Production Cell with Secured Networks


Mini-Projects are embedded throughout the hands-on workstation activities to engage students and reinforce concepts. Mini-Projects are individual hands-on projects that focus on a specific technology.

    • Easy Rider Computer Workstation
    • Bagel Dough Mixing Machine
    • Make A Statement With Logos
    • Shoe Design & House Design Challenge
      Lightweight And Safer Cars
      Stealth Toy Design
      Couch Potato Paradise
      Pizza Oven Door Control
      Fastest Most Accurate Material Handling System


IGNITE features hands-on workstations with state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 technologies, such as the Industrial Internet of Things, smart sensors, and Additive Manufacturing. Students safely master industry-relevant technical skills using IGNITE’s detailed, step-by-step curriculum.

These hands-on training systems, which are designed by engineers and subject-matter experts and hand-crafted, assembled, welded, wired, and painted at Amatrol’s facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana, are loaded with real-world, industrial components to enable students to practice on the type of equipment they will encounter on the job. These heavy-duty systems stand up to frequent use by inexperienced users.

Examples of the types of hands-on training systems used in the IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing program include:

IGNITE Hands-On Skills Graphic

Amatrol | 95-MSB2

Skill Boss Manufacturing

Amatrol | 990-BH1

Portable Basic Hydraulics

87-TMS1 Context

Amatrol | 87-TMS

Tabletop Mechatronics

Course 1: Introduction to Advanced Manufacturing

Introduces fundamental concepts in advanced manufacturing, design to ignite interest and develop basic skills. Technical Highlights: Smart Automation, CNC, Robotics, CAD, Additive Manufacturing, and Safety.

Course 2: Introduction to Systems

Projects applying team concepts and problem solving to basic systems. Expands on Course 1 technical topics in Smart Automation.

In addition to the types of equipment used in Course 1, Course 2 (Introduction to Systems) also uses the following equipment:

Course 3: Mechatronics Systems

Projects in mechatronic systems combining computer-based controllers with electrical, mechanical, and fluid technologies. Introduces Programmable Controller (PLC) programming and applications.

In addition to the types of equipment used in Courses 1 and 2, Course 3 also uses the following equipment:

Course 4: Digital Manufacturing Systems

Projects in Digital Enterprise Systems combining PLCs, Robotics, and Cloud Technologies. Introduces Networking, CAM, Cloud-Based Data Collection, and Lean Manufacturing.

In addition to the types of equipment used in Courses 1, 2, and 3, Course 4 also uses the following equipment:

Course 5: Advanced Materials & Design

A capstone course that deepens technical skills in advanced manufacturing processes, materials, and design while completing an advanced team project. Features CAD/CAM, CNC, welding, plastics, and materials engineering.

In addition to the types of equipment used in Courses 1-4, Course 5 also uses the following equipment:

Course 6: IIoT, Data Analytics, & Networking

A capstone course that enriches technical skills in Industry 4.0 systems and the Industrial Internet of Things using managed networks, data analytics software, cybersecurity, variable frequency drives, RFID, barcode, and smart sensors.

In addition to the types of equipment used in Courses 1-5, Course 6 also uses the following equipment:

Amatrol Portable PLC Troubleshooting Learning System - AB CompactLogix (990-PABCL1F)

Amatrol | 990-PABCL1F

Portable PLC Troubleshooting - AB CompactLogix

IGNITE Next Level SPARK Header


IGNITE is a turnkey system with extensive instructor resources and support. IGNITE instructor guides and program evaluation guides provide class schedules, syllabi, teaching tips, classroom management methods, and assessment rubrics. The program also offers comprehensive teacher professional development taught through a series of week-long instructor classes taught by master instructors.

Thanks to the ability to access eLearning courses online through Amatrol’s powerful Learning Management System (LMS), IGNITE students can learn anywhere, anytime they can connect to the Internet. Learners can even practice their hands-on skills, making IGNITE the perfect solution for remote learning. Amatrol’s LMS provides a highly flexible assessment with pre-tests, post-tests, and hands-on skill assessment tracking. The LMS also includes a student diagnostic tool that creates customized student learning plans.

Additional Resources:

For additional resources on how IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing can revolutionize your training program, check out the following articles:

IGNITE Learning Systems | Quick Access

Amatrol's IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing program features an unmatched range of technical training systems and eLearning courses.
Supported by interactive eLearning and hands-on skill procedures, our technical training products engage learners and provide the training they need to be successful.