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Student Success

Inspire. Prepare. Support.

SME and the SME Education Foundation build awareness of opportunity, enhance academic opportunity and directly help students at every level, offering a path to explore, learn and grow through scholarships, student competitions, mentorship, and student summits.

Powering Student Achievement

The SME Education Foundation’s scholarships support students in their quest of a manufacturing focused education. The generosity of our many individual donors and corporate partners has enabled us to award millions in scholarships, attracting and supporting thousands of students further their education and expand their futures.

Student Membership Opportunities

Student Membership Opportunities

It's incumbent on us to inform and inspire young people about their opportunities in this new era of advanced manufacturing — we're changing perceptions one student member at a time.

Engage in Mentoring

The SME Mentorship Program connects mentors (professional members) with mentees (high school student members), allowing mentors to enhance their leadership skills and give back to the manufacturing community, while mentees get the help they need to achieve their personal, educational and professional development goals.
“My participation in the SME Mentorship Program is helping me build up my network, find work opportunities in the industry and support in choosing the right career path.”
Chelsea, SME Mentorship Program Participant

Student Contests & Events


HOUSTEX 3D Printing Student Competition

This bi-annual competition encourages students to be familiar with engineering design and ideation. Entries are welcome from students in high schools, community colleges/vocational institutes, or universities. Winners are recognized at SME's bi-annual HOUSTEX event. Submissions Due: January 15, 2019
AeroDef Poster Challenge

AeroDef Manufacturing Poster Challenge and Display

Poster abstracts are accepted from undergraduate students, graduate students and industry research professionals (under 35). Poster contributions are solicited to review recent developments, driven by both fundamental research and technology, industry demonstrations of new applications or techniques, upcoming research challenges, future directions and novel approaches in the field. Winners are recognized at SME's annual AeroDef Manufacturing event. Submissions Due: March 4, 2019
Digital Manufacturing Challenge

Digital Manufacturing Challenge

This annual competition invites student designers to use their imagination to arrive at an innovative design, which exploits the geometric capabilities of direct digital manufacturing (DDM) to the fullest. Entries are welcome from college/university students and high school students; both categories are judged separately. Winners are recognized at SME's annual RAPID + TCT event.

RAPID + TCT Manufacturing Poster Challenge

SME's RAPID + TCT Manufacturing Poster Challenge is designed to foster interest and provide the additive manufacturing engineering community with new perspectives and innovative ideas. Entries are welcome from undergraduate and graduate students. Winners are recognized at SME's annual RAPID + TCT event. Submissions Due: March 4, 2019

FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology)

FIRST is a partnership among students, educators, mentors and industry working together to build a workforce suited to fill careers in high-tech fields and advanced manufacturing careers. SME professional chapters and members support FIRST Robotics team youth outreach at the local levels through chapter or member engagement. Opportunities to promote FIRST robotics team success can be made through the SME chapter network.
SME Awards

NAMRC Student Research Presentation Contest

The annual North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC) hosts a Student Research Presentation Contest to recognize students' contributions to NAMRC. Encouraging young talents to pursue a career in manufacturing research is of vital importance to the long-term goals of the manufacturing community.


Rippl3D’s mission is to create and deploy innovative and affordable tools that enable anyone, but especially youth, to have meaningful experiences that help them identify their interest and grow their knowledge and wisdom related to engineering and manufacturing.
Student Innovation Tours

Student Innovation Tours

The goal of SME's Student Innovation Tours is to create interest, excitement and an appreciation for the technology on display at various events, as well as to build awareness with students and educators about manufacturing career pathways.