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This Manufacturing Day, Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education Launch Free STEM Based Program for Students Grades 3-12 

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Alycia Chanin, Discovery Education 

Suzanne van de Raadt, Alcoa Foundation

Manufacture Your Future’ Program to Inspire the Next Generation to Take the First Step Towards Exploring and Pursuing Today’s Manufacturing Careers

SILVER SPRING, Md. (October 7, 2016) – In recognition of National Manufacturing Day, 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, announce all-new STEM-focused digital resources as part of the educational program Manufacture Your Future. Designed to inspire students in grades 3-12 to take the first step towards exploring and pursuing modern manufacturing careers, the program offers educators, guidance counselors, students and families hands-on resources that build excitement around post-secondary manufacturing career opportunities. The new curriculum includes an interactive self-paced learning module for middle school students, which allows them to explore how their interests and passions align to advanced manufacturing careers.

On Manufacturing Day, Alcoa joins more than 1,600 American manufacturers to motivate today’s young people to explore careers in manufacturing and engineering ? and power the next chapter of American production and innovation.  Manufacture Your Future, designed by Discovery Education’s curriculum experts, encourages the development of critical thinking skills through real-world applications. Hope Street Group, The Manufacturing Institute, and SME Education Foundation provided additional expertise. The comprehensive program is available at no cost and offers standards-based resources focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); lesson plans; a manufacturing career guide; family discussion starters; and virtual field trips to give students an up-close look at many manufacturing careers.

New elements released today include:

Self-Paced Student Digital Learning Module, Grades 6-8  

  • In the new module, “Do You Have What It Makes?” students learn how advanced manufacturers work in teams to solve complex problems that improve processes, products, and people’s lives. They investigate the applications of 3D printing, robotics, and computers, and consider how each of these technologies helps manufacturers solve practical problems. Along the way, they discover the relationship between advanced manufacturing careers and the products they build that shape the world.

New Lesson Plans for Grades 3-12

  • Students of all ages make real-world connections to STEM concepts and prepare for their future with these thought-provoking lessons. 
  • Grades 3-5 lesson summary: Students explore modern advanced manufacturing careers as they identify required skill sets, apply innovative thinking and creativity, and connect the application of modern manufacturing to daily products and use. In the final activity, students role-play a select modern manufacturing career to complete a design challenge.
  • Grades 6-8 lesson summary: Students support or refute a claim about the relationship between manufacturing and society. They use evidence, case studies, career scenarios, anecdotal stories, and other sources as part of their argument.
  • Grades 9-12 lesson summary: Students investigate the emergence of advanced manufacturing careers by investigating how and why careers evolve over time. Students explore new ideas for innovations related to health, transportation, and architecture and the types of careers that are needed to bring these innovations to life. Finally, they conduct data analyses of current trends and pathways related to advanced manufacturing careers.

“I am so excited that Manufacture Your Future has added lesson plan support for elementary classrooms,” said Dacia Jones, STEM educator at Durham Public Schools in North Carolina. “Teachers within the Discovery Educator Network have been asking for this resource, and are eager to incorporate it into classroom instruction as it will enhance our curriculum and motivate students. Thank you so much for understanding the need and for making this happen for our schools.”

Previously focused on students in grades 6-12, the Manufacture Your Future program has expanded its resources this year to now reach younger elementary students as a result of frequent teacher requests and broader interest.

To access all program resources and learn more, visit:

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $480 million. Founded 64 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $635 million in communities worldwide. In 2015, 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 2015, 47 percent of Alcoa employees took part in 1,000 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 300,000 people and 400 nonprofit organizations. For more information, and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, 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, 50 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