Technological Advances Omnipresent on SDNB Industry Tours

The School District of New Berlin’s annual ‘Careers in Action’ Industry Tours provide students an opportunity to gain an understanding of careers available within specific industries while exposing them to a variety of working environments within those industries.

This year’s tours on April 16 allowed approximately 150 students to take a deeper dive into one of three high demand industries: healthcare, manufacturing and computer science/IT, all of which are experiencing significant demand as well as workforce changes as a result of technological advances. The tours, a cornerstone of the SDNB’s College and Career Readiness Event Series, are designed to inform students’ high school course selections and post-secondary planning as part of their Academic and Career Planning (ACP) process.

“The industries were selected, in part, based on available labor market projections as well as the projected impact of disruptive technologies on the future world of work,” SDNB Superintendent Joe Garza said. “We want all students to be aware of a wide variety of options as they they reflect on their secondary and post-secondary plans.”

Students with an interest in healthcare visited Community Memorial Hospital where they had a chance to rotate through several departments within the facility including the intensive care unit, pharmacy, imaging, cancer care and emergency care. They heard from hospital leaders on future trends in healthcare and what they can do now to prepare for health-related occupations.

“These tours allow us to give back and invest in the future of health care by educating students on the various career opportunities available within a hospital setting,” said Teri Lux, president of Community Memorial Hospital. “Given the estimated shortage of health care workers in the coming years, engaging with high school students early and directly is mutually beneficial for the students as well as our health network.”

The group then travelled to Carroll University, where students were able to see the impact of technology on healthcare education by touring Carroll’s new 3D anatomy, nursing simulation and exercise science labs.

“Early career exploration and building a sound academic foundation are keys to future success in the health sciences,” said Thomas Pahnke, Interim Dean of Carroll’s College of Health Sciences. “Carroll University was excited to provide learning experiences that allowed these highly motivated students to explore several health science disciplines and better understand the academic and technical skills needed for future success.”

Students with an interest in the trades, advanced manufacturing, and engineering visited Rockwell Automation in Mequon, where they learned how technology is changing the way products are manufactured and distributed through automation, robotics and shop floor analytics. Students then travelled to one of Rockwell’s higher education partners, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where they visited with professors and students in the mechatronics lab, the industrial automation lab, and the energy storage research lab - the largest dry lab of its kind in North America.

"K-12 education is fundamentally critical to the advancement of science and technology and are delighted to see high schools take an interest in these unique learning opportunities,” said Adel Nasiri Interim director of the UWM’s Connected Systems Institute. “Our goal is to engage, spur discussions and ignite curiosity around these important topics facing society."

Students also heard from representatives from UWM’s College of Engineering and Rockwell Automation regarding the importance of understanding the power of technology in the fourth industrial revolution and how related technologies can be used to connect supply and distribution channels across the globe via the industrial internet of things, or IIoT. Rockwell recently invested $1.7 million in UWM’s Connected Systems Institute.

“There’s currently a gap between industry and research/education on the other,” Nasiri added. “The Connected Systems Institute will serve as a central point where industry representatives and scholars can collaborate on industrial IoT technologies.”

Students on the computer science/ IT tour spent their day at Direct Supply, a leading provider of senior living equipment, ecommerce and service solutions. The students were led through a Scrum development simulation and learned about a variety of technology-related occupations. Coordinated in partnership with Junior Achievement, the visit to Direct Supply exposed students to a dynamic work environment.

“The Industry Tours are a great opportunity for the students to interact with professionals and to learn about the skills, talents and activities associated with careers they are interested in,” said Wade Krogwald, Direct Supply’s Campus and Community Recruiting Manager. “It gives them a chance to hear about a day in the life of a software engineer, product design engineer or data scientist to see if it’s something they’d want and like to do. The students are also able to see and experience our culture and get a sense for how it impacts innovation and learning.”

A common denominator through all three industry tours was the impact that technological advancements currently has, and will continue to have, on all sectors of the economy. The SDNB has responded to this reality by significantly increasing technology offerings as well as project-based and/or career-related experiences that serve a wide variety of student interests over the past few years. SDNB partners and community members are invited to an Industry 4.0 Community Information Night on May 8, as well as Advanced Innovation and Design Pitch Night on June 4, to learn more about a few of these offerings. Please contact for more information.


For more information about the our 'Careers in Action' Industry Tours, visit:

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