Advancing the Future Tours Connects Classroom to Careers
October’s Advancing the Future Tours hosted over 1,000 student experiences bringing middle & high school students out of the classroom for career connecting learning with regional Advance Manufacturing partners.
The 2018 tours featured 19 participating manufacturers
including new business tour host, In-Tolerance. High school students from Kirkwood’s Advanced Manufacturing Academy classes participated in the In-Tolerance tour. According to John Hassen, Academy instructor, “The students were able to see what they’re learning in class in a manufacturing environment including new technology and even robotics. When they can see what they’re learning is what the industry is looking for, it becomes real for them.”
The tours also provide good learning opportunities for educators. “It’s always interesting to see the new technology and things they’re doing. Robotics are coming into Advanced Manufacturing at a fast and furious rate in order to remain competitive,” shared Hassen. "It’s important to keep up on the changes.”
That is a lesson Hassen likes to impart on his students as well. “The learning never stops. I remind my students that once you’re out in the field your learning isn’t finished. They day we stop learning we become antiquated.”
Interested in connecting with students interested in Advance Manufacturing? Click here
Johnson County STEM Institute Growing
WLC’s Johnson County STEM Institute is just around the corner. Now in its 7th year, STEM Institute will host over 1,700 Johnson County 7th grade students, a 17% increase from 2017. According to WLC Event Coordinator, Cheryl Valenta, this year’s STEM event will have a slightly new format to enhance the student experience. “The slight change in the format has allowed us to add new business participants and offer additional experiences for each student.” In fact, 2018 Johnson County STEM Institute will provide this year’s 7th grade students with over 5,000 unique STEM experiences.
These STEM Institute experiences are correlated to an increase in STEM related job shadow and internships opportunities as selected by regional high school students. WLC experienced a 91 percent spike in participation for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) job shadows in 2017 compared to 2015 for Johnson County.
New business participants for the 2018 Johnson County STEM Institute will include, IDx
& Iowa Tech Chicks
, U of I Robotics Club
, U or I Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
, Schneider Electric
, Garden Bridge Outreach
, EPX Studio –U of I Gaming Club
, Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation
, & Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa Campus Auto Tech & Advance Manufacturing
Interested in finding more STEM related experiences for your student, check out Southeast Iowa STEM
Is your businesses interested in supporting STEM based learning? Connect with us here
Where are They Now?
Meet former WLC Intern and Monticello HS Alum, Ellen Schlarmann. Ellen is the current Marketing & Communications Director at Camp Courageous, handling marketing, promotions, brand development, website, social media, the Camp Courageous Courier, and fundraising events.
WLC recently visited with Ellen about her journey from high school student and WLC intern to Marketing & Communications Director.
Describe your career and education path since graduating from high school.
While in high school I took Kirkwood dual credit classes and graduated high school with 48 college credits. I attended Iowa State and I originally thought I would just major in marketing, but realized Business Management was a better fit. I graduated with a Bachelors in Management in May 2018 and joined Camp Courageous in August 2018. The Kirkwood credits really accelerated my college degree completion so I was able to graduate in 2 years. I saved a lot money and those classes were a good transition from high school coursework to college coursework.
How did your WLC internship assisted in your career and education path?
I did my WCL internships while in high school at Camp Courageous in Marketing and Special Events. It helped expose me to a wide variety of business strategies, marketing, and social media strategies. I developed skills essential in the workplace. The experience also reaffirmed my passion for serving others and I realized the non-profit environment was a good fit for me. It helped me better determine my specific path. I was also able to make valuable professional connections during my internship.
What advice would you give today’s high school students?
Get involved and try a variety of experiences. Through different experiences you learn things; likes, dislikes, strengths, things you need to work on. It helps you determine your passion and makes you well rounded. Try an internships and/or a job shadow to help you to figure out if this is the right career path. It helps to develop connections in the career field. It is absolutely essential in today’s world to have these professional connections. It is definitely a very beneficial program and would encourage all students to try it. It will only help you!
Thank you to WLC for all you do for area students!
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Check out our community partnerships impacting our future workforce.
Linn County Regional Center
1770 Boyson Road, Hiawatha, Iowa 52233
319-398-1040 | 319-398-1041 (fax)
Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa
2301 Oakdale Blvd., Coralville, Iowa 52241
319-887-3970 | 319-358-3102 (fax)