Tech Tours Transports Educators to a World Beyond the Classroom

FLATE’s professional development initiatives for technical faculty and educators in STEM 
curriculum provides opportunities to develop, refine or certify their knowledge base within manufacturing and/or its related field(s) enabling technologies and educational pedagogies. Workshops take advantage of the summer break for educators, and are offered by request throughout the year to college faculty and K-12 teachers. Earlier this summer, as part of preconference workshops at the 2016 FACTE Conference, FLATE and FAITE, the Florida Association for Industrial & Technical Educators, co-hosted the “Tech Tours”. The preconference industrial and technical tours were held on July 25, and included tours to Disney Industrial Complex, Lockheed Martin, and a launch site simulation.

A total of 20 participants, mostly educators, signed up for the tech tours and got a first-hand

look at the industrial and technical operations in each of the sites. At the “Disney Behind-the-Scenes” tour, attendees visited two independent buildings one of which housed Disney personnel responsible for maintaining, repairing, and making costumes and uniforms used in all Disney parks, hotels and resorts, including towels, blankets and customized special designed items. “It was interesting to witness the applications of STEM in a manufacturing assembly line” said Danielly Orozco, Associate Director for FLATE. The other building was a newer addition where designers created magnificent costume and apparels that breathes life to Disney cartoon characters bringing them alive. In addition to the Disney extravaganza, attendees also toured Orange Technical College where participants visited several simulation labs. The last and final tour included tours to two, Lockheed Martin facilities.

Following the FACTE preconference Tech Tours, FLATE conducted a short survey to gauge the 

overall experience and feedback of attendees. Ninety five percent of respondents deemed the overall professional development value from the tours as very good/excellent. “Great tour organized to maximize impact. One of the best I have been on for industry” noted a participant in a post event survey. One hundred percent of the attendees also stated they will use the information presented at the preconference workshop, and would recommend it to their colleagues. Ninety five percent of the attendees stated that the Tech Tours increased their knowledge of the high-tech jobs, skills and opportunities available in Florida, with 100% stating the tours increased their knowledge base about how STEM subjects are applied in high-tech industrial settings. “Enjoyed the day, very interesting” stated another participant in a survey conducted by FLATE. 

Visit the FLATE Wiki for more information, or contact Executive Director of FLATE, Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org and Associate Director of FLATE, Danielly Orozco at orozco@fl-ate.org