Virtual Manufacturing Day and Month

With the rise of virtual reality and people taking a more web based approach to solve current problems, many companies have taken the initiative to explore new possibilities that come with virtual technology. For the manufacturing industry, one of the new opportunities that virtual reality brings is 360 degree virtual tours! This new type of virtual tour can further enhance Manufacturing Day and Month for those that are unable to attend tours in-person, especially since schools may have taken a hard financial hit due to COVID-19. In general, virtual tours allows manufacturers to bring their facilities to schools to showcase their products, positions within their factory, manufacturing processes, and assist with breaking the myths of manufacturing in order to inspire the next generation of skilled workers. Although virtual tours could never replace in-person tours, this is definitely a step towards making Manufacturing Day and Month tours accessible for everyone! View some of FLATE’s top choices of currently available virtual tours below!

ARCONIC virtual tours has a series of videos that showcases some of their facilities. The virtual
tours introduces some of the people that work for ARCONIC and covers what processes ARCONIC uses to manufacture their products. The website also includes an “Educator’s Guide” for the virtual tours. The guide includes activities for the students and includes a list of myths and facts about working in the manufacturing industry.

Some of the most iconic videos featuring manufacturing are the “How it is Made” videos. Jelly Belly, has their own “How it is Made” video on YouTube that reveals the secret to making the perfect jelly beans. Students can take a glimpse of some of the amazing machines used to make the jelly beans and see workers in action.

SONNY’s The Car Wash Factory located in Tamarac, Florida has several 360 degree virtual reality tour videos that can work with your phone! This video has a personal tour guide that talks about their facility and offers insight into what it takes to run a factory and to be in manufacturing. The videos are categorized by the type of manufacturing processes SONNY’s uses to make their products and they also offer tours on their products and through one of their car washes.

Some of the tours mentioned in this article can be seen using a virtual reality headset. These headsets can be made at home using common, recyclable materials such as cardboard and plastic bottles! If you would like to make one, click this link to see instructions on how to make Google’s virtual reality headset. Google has also provided a best practices and guidelines for their virtual reality headset which can be found here.

There are several other virtual tour videos for Florida manufacturing facilities out there on the internet. Take some time to explore your options and see if any of them can further expand your student’s knowledge on manufacturing! In addition, it’s time to start planning for 2020 Manufacturing Day and Month! With just 5 months to go, perhaps we can see more manufacturers develop their own virtual tour videos. With virtual and augmented reality slowly growing, perhaps one day we can even have a real-time guided virtual reality Manufacturing Day and Month tour in the not too far away future!

Looking for more videos on manufacturing? Check out FLATE’s “Made in Florida” and “Women in Manufacturing” videos! Both are available for free as a DVD upon request and have accompanying lesson plans. These videos are available online and the curriculum is available as free downloads at FLATE’s PB Wiki. If you have video footage that could be used for virtual lessons for Manufacturing Day and Month, or have questions pertaining to this article, please contact Dr. Marilyn Barger (


 “US Virtual Field Trips.” Manufacture Your Future,

Virtual Reality - Factory Tour | Sonny's The CarWash Factory,

Santillan, Rodolfo. “How to Make a Virtual Reality Headset: Custom.” Maker Pro, Maker Pro, 19 May 2020,

“Manufacture Cardboard.” Google, Google,

“How Jelly Beans Are Made.” YouTube, uploaded by Community Balance, 2 Jan 2015,

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