Alcoa Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the US, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, announced today the launch of “Manufacture Your Future,” a new online destination designed to inspire thousands of students in grades 6-12 to take the first step towards exploring and pursuing today’s 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. 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.
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. The sector supports millions of people who make things in America and a large number of employees in other sectors of the economy.
“As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly important that we nurture a future workforce that is interested in pursuing careers in manufacturing, and that they are also equipped with the STEM skills necessary for these critical jobs,” said Karen Zilhaver, Middle School Educator from Seminole, Fla. “Manufacture Your Future allows me to do both of those things for my students; using these tools, I can build excitement and skills.”
“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.”
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 percent of Americans said that their parents or their school system encouraged them to pursue a career in manufacturing.
Virtual Career Guide and Virtual Field Trip
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.
For more information on the program or to access the site’s free resources, visit: www.manufactureyourfuture.com.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470 million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company's signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.
A global leader in lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our 60,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more information, visit www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Alcoa and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa.