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Christina Scripps, Discovery Education

Alice Truscott, Alcoa Foundation

–U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to Join Alcoa Engineers for an In-Depth Look at Today’s Advanced Manufacturing Industry; Field Trip Connects STEM to Real-World Advanced Manufacturing Careers–

SILVER SPRING, Md. (September 24, 2015) Alcoa Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, will celebrate Manufacturing Day on October 2, 2015, with an interactive virtual field trip that provides a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most sophisticated manufacturing facilities in the world. Hosted live from the global headquarters of Alcoa Power and Propulsion, a business unit of Alcoa Engineered Products and Solutions, the Manufacture Your Future LIVE Virtual Field Trip will connect science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classroom concepts to various career paths available in today’s advanced manufacturing industry.

Available at no cost to classrooms worldwide, the Manufacture Your Future LIVE Virtual Field Trip will transport students to Alcoa Power and Propulsion in Whitehall, Mich., to explore the manufacturing processes that yield several of the company’s innovative products – all of which play an important role in keeping planes in the air and passengers safe while flying. Participating students will tour the facility’s research center for a look at state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing technologies including 3D printers, high-tech robotics and process modeling, as well as hear from Alcoa’s leading engineers as they discuss and demonstrate the relevance and importance of STEM skills in their jobs and careers.

The virtual field trip will also feature an exclusive interview by a high school engineering student with Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who will discuss the important role of the advanced manufacturing industry in the U.S. economy and the critical need to build a highly skilled workforce. Students and educators can register for the virtual event and submit questions ahead of time to be answered live by Mike Pepper, President of Alcoa Power and Propulsion, at:

“I’m excited to integrate this virtual field trip into my classroom instruction and engage students through interactive, digital content that takes them outside the walls of our classroom and connects STEM skills to real-world careers  in the advanced manufacturing industry,” said Jessica Donaldson, teacher at Cane Bay Middle School, Berkeley County School District, S.C. “This virtual field trip provides a unique opportunity for students to learn directly from subject-matter experts and see first-hand how STEM impacts our everyday life in ways that are simply not possible through the use of traditional text.”

“The manufacturing industry has been and will continue to be a principal engine of our economy. According to the Manufacturing Institute, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled in the next decade, and the skills gap in our nation is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled,” said Suzanne van de Raadt, Director, Program Development, Alcoa Foundation. “Now more than ever we need to show tomorrow’s workforce the exciting career options they have in the manufacturing industry, and we are proud to have some of our talented members of Alcoa’s Whitehall team share their stories.”

This virtual field trip is provided as part of Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education’s award-winning “Manufacture Your Future” program, a comprehensive online site that offers middle and high school educators, guidance counselors, students and families hands-on resources to build excitement around post-secondary manufacturing career opportunities. Manufacture Your Future encourages the development of critical thinking skills through real-world application. It offers dynamic standards-based, STEM-focused lesson plans, career guides, family discussion starters and other online resources that highlight today’s advanced manufacturing careers and demonstrate the crucial role that manufacturing plays in daily life. Hope Street Group, The Manufacturing Institute, and SME Education Foundation provided expertise.

“Discovery Education is proud to continue our partnership with Alcoa Foundation to deliver innovative educational resources that strengthen students’ STEM skills and build a workforce-ready talent pipeline for the advanced manufacturing industry,” said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President, Discovery Education. “Digital content such as this Virtual Field Trip engages today’s 21st century learners through dynamic, interactive experiences that transform teaching and learning and increase student achievement.”

For more information about the virtual field trip, the Manufacture Your Future program, and free resources, visit:

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $480 million. Founded 63 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $615 million. In 2014, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company's signature Month of Service program, in 2014, 58 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,000 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 700,000 people and 500 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.comand follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

About Alcoa
A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our 60,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more information, visit, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at and follow us on Facebook at