Return to Headlines

Middle school students explore future careers

Cooley and Sossaman Middle School technology students got a peek this week into manufacturing job opportunities during private tours of some of Gilbert’s newest companies.

The students – all enrolled in computers or robotics at the Gilbert and Queen Creek campuses – participated in Manufacturing Day 2018 with the tours, organized by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce’s Partners in Progress program. The event included teambuilding activities at ASU Polytechnic, sponsored by the school’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering.

Students learned about different jobs, from packaging engineering and tooling designer to shop mechanics to material science while hearing about how products are made at Footprint, SilentAire or Wisdom Natural.

“It taught (me) a lot,” said Cooley seventh-grade student Micaela Sitzler. “I didn’t really know much about the manufacturing process and how many different jobs there are and how much it costs, which is a lot. It was cool.”

“I really liked it,” said Cooley eighth-grade student Dylan Bailey. “It was super interesting and it taught us a lot about possible jobs.”

The first stop for Cooley students was Footprint, a molded fiber company, which is working to reduce plastics use in food packaging products. Both schools toured Silent Aire, which builds HVAC and data center. At Widsom Natural, Sossaman students learned how sweetner is made from the stevia plant.

“They are getting a hands-on experience and up-close look at how they can apply the lessons and curriculum they are taught in class,” said Sossaman robotics instructor John Burke.