Designed for 7th and 8th grade middle classrooms, both in-person and virtual, each MANUFACTURING DAY VIRTUAL LAB is a snapshot of one company’s manufacturing process, its products, and the employees who make it all happen. The series has been developed to meet West Virginia education curriculum objectives.
Virtual Lab Facts:
- Features West Virginia manufacturers and the diverse products made in the mountain state.
- Each lab consists of a 30-minute video, focusing on employees and the career skills they need for their jobs.
- Student worksheet with vocabulary and questions accompany each lab.
- An optional hands-on experiment using everyday household items is provided.
The Explore Program is committed to increasing the number of West Virginia students completing career paths that support the state’s manufacturing industry. We believe it is important our student educational opportunities are fun, exciting, and build awareness about the diversity of available career options. It is essential for us to forge strong collaborations between manufacturers and educators to help student discovery and understanding of manufacturing careers.
The Explore Team provides a myriad of educational opportunities for schools and manufacturers to create working networks that benefit both groups. Our goal of expanding Explore's programming mission through hands-on learning and interactive experiences, with the assistance of our partners, is to engage students from elementary school through high school and post-secondary training.
This robust initiative meets educators' critical needs as they navigate the new normal of what education will look like this fall. Providing rich, connective content for the educators at this vital juncture will increase Explore's ability to construct a long-term workforce pipeline, fueled in part by teacher participation and recommendations. If we do not respond, Explore's momentum will stall, and manufacturers' employment challenges will increase.
The Explore team has developed a template for Manufacturing Day Virtual Learning Labs. Each lab will feature one manufacturing partner segment (20-30 minutes / either live-streamed or pre-recorded). To streamline the production, our team will ready to help manufacturers in developing and executing their lab and supplying equipment, if applicable. As we expand the virtual program, lab segments will be repackaged to maximize the time and effort each manufacturer made to launch this new effort.
Is there a general format lab hosts should follow for Manufacturing Day Virtual Learning Labs?
- Introduction and share what you wanted to be when you were in 8th grade
- Provide an overview of your educational and career journey (share why you choose this path)
- Share information about the products and how they’re used
- Short lab
- Q & A
Actually, no. The simpler the activity, the better. First, we arrange a 15-minute phone meeting between the manufacturer and the educator assigned to the lab to discuss learning components. We will be looking for ways to support state objectives, determine the hands-on activity, and prepare information according to the format above. For example, a chemical manufacturer demonstrates a chemical reaction like those that occur during the production process (aligns with state objective S.8PS.4).
You will need a camera (can be a phone or laptop camera) for live streaming and video conferencing.
- Relatable presenter who likes to use a conversational style
- Cool insight to what it’s like to be a manufacturer through a hands-on activity
- The history or hierarchy of the company won’t excite middle school students
- Forget using a corporate presentation style or technically high-level videography
- The presenter doesn’t have to be upper management. Relatability outweighs job titles.