The Young Manufacturers Academies (YMAs) introduce students entering grades 7 – 9 to all facets of the manufacturing industry, through hands-on activities and simulation-based learning, travel to industry locations for on-site interaction with manufacturers, and a mock Career Fair capstone event. Students’ families are invited to these events, as parent/guardian encouragement and support is a critical component in the decision-making processes about education and career choices. YMAs also reinforce in-school learning, develop an appreciation for achievement in STEM, and demonstrate the variety of educational pathways that support careers in manufacturing.
YMAs are intended to maximize student engagement through high-impact, contextual programming. At the core of this programming is a focus on those 21st century skills that develop innovation and entrepreneurship. Students engage in realistic manufacturing workplace scenarios that introduce them to leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking, efficiency, competition, collaboration, customer service, and other skills needed for success in the global economy. Along the way, students will compile a portfolio of completed engineering and manufacturing projects involving parachutes, bridges, futuristic cars, robot programs, and carnival rides.