When Junior Achievement’s “JA BizTown” opens its doors next week to approximately 9,000 fifth and sixth grade students for the 2011–12 academic year, the facility will be even more engaging as Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast will bring new life to its existing space at the facility as JA BizTown’s Education Center.
Each student will be able to experience Ivy Tech and what it has to offer them with hands-on learning. In the spring 2011, college administration agreed to place three small machines called MakerBot Thing-O-Matic Kits on display for student use. These machines are the latest in cutting-edge personal manufacturing technology and are considered a breakthrough in 3D printing technology. The machine prints objects in three-dimensional fashion. A lesson plan will be provided to teachers in advance of their visit to BizTown, so students can be prepared with their objects for printing.
“This type of exciting technology brings new possibilities—in career fields like advanced manufacturing—to the attention of young students,” said Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ed.D. “Through the addition of this equipment, the students get to exercise their creativity and will begin to get an understanding of how fields like advanced manufacturing are high-tech and require good, solid math skills.”
Themed “Dream it. Then achieve it at Ivy Tech Community College.” the space has been brought to life with wall-to-wall photos and graphics that provide a campus-like atmosphere as well as a three-dimensional advanced manufacturing environment. There is also a display entitled “Your future begins at Ivy Tech. Try us on for size.” where students are encouraged to dress up in various professional career attire available.
Ivy Tech has had a presence at JA BizTown for more than five years. The renovation and additions to the space are a supplement to Ivy Tech’s role while students visit and become citizens of JA BizTown for the day. Junior Achievement staff “hire” students to run each of the tenants’ businesses during their field trip, and an outlined set of tasks need to be accomplished during the day. This also includes the ability to visit other tenants and “purchase” items provided by those businesses.
About Junior Achievement’s “JA BizTown”
Junior Achievement’s “JA BizTown” is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this school year. The program combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to this fully interactive simulated town facility. The program helps students connect the dots between what they learn in school and the real world.