In order to inspire thousands of students in grades 6-12 to take the first step towards exploring and pursuing today’s manufacturing careers, the Alcoa Foundation joined Discovery Education, a provider of digital content for K-12 classrooms, to launch the “Manufacture Your Future" program.
Manufacture Your Future encourages the development of critical thinking skills through real-world application, and offers dynamic standards-based, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-focused lesson plans, a manufacturing career guide, family discussion starters and a Virtual Field Trip designed to give students an inside look at some of today’s most prominent manufacturing careers.
The program provides middle and high school educators, guidance counselors, students and families with hands-on resources that build excitement around post-secondary manufacturing career opportunities.
“The manufacturing industry is an innovative place full of exciting potential,” said Esra Ozer, president, Alcoa Foundation. “However, we need a strong pipeline of talent to fill the increasing demand in the manufacturing industry. Programs like Manufacture Your Future help kick-start a student’s understanding of possible manufacturing careers. Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation are proud to help ignite that spark of interest.”
Educating students about careers in manufacturing is especially relevant knowing that, according to The Manufacturing Institute, more than one in seven U.S. private sector jobs depends on the U.S. manufacturing base.
Manufacture Your Future’s comprehensive, cross-curricular lesson plans also look at the history of manufacturing and include STEM-based resources on robotics, designed to stimulate conversations between educators and students around potential manufacturing careers. Designed by Discovery Education’s curriculum experts, the site’s resources provide insights into the science behind the manufacturing design process.
Family Discussion Starters extend the conversation beyond the classroom, giving parents a way to highlight the crucial role that manufacturing plays in day-to-day life. Educating families is an important goal of the program, given that according to a national survey by The Manufacturing Institute, less than 20% of Americans said that their parents or their school system encouraged them to pursue a career in manufacturing.
The program’s virtual career guide provides an additional layer of support, offering guidance counselors detailed, first-hand information about manufacturing careers - from welding to mechanical engineering –that also gives students a more holistic look at the industry’s wide-range of occupational options.
Manufacture Your Future will launch its first virtual field trip on National Manufacturing Day, October 3, 2014. Students will get an inside look at careers in advanced manufacturing through an interactive event hosted live from an Alcoa facility.