By Helen Widman
The Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation (CGIF) launched its newest program, Ceramic and Glass Industry Tours, with a kick-off tour for science teachers at Allied Mineral Products, a global leader in refractory ceramics. The tour, along with an industry luncheon, took place at the Allied Mineral Products headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, on July 27th, where 15 science teachers attended.
After a brief introduction, teachers were divided into groups led by different Allied professionals. Each group met with another Allied professional who walked them through their role at the company and how their role plays a part in the process of creating and testing different refractory materials.
“I loved the whole tour,” Todd Bolenbaugh, who teaches at Tolles Career and Technical Center, says. “We had five different things that we got to look at and each one of them had its own unique perspective: creating the batching of materials, how you test materials, how you look at the chemistry of those things, how you operate, how you do quality control. It was so interesting just to see the big picture and all the different components.”
Throughout the tour, each Allied professional also gave the teachers insight into their educational background so that teachers could learn more about potential post-graduation pathways for their high school students. At the industry luncheon, teachers and Allied professionals engaged in lively discussions about their respective classroom and industry experiences.
“I was inspired to attend this tour today because I like seeing how the things that I teach in my class are applied in practical ways in industry, because I’m trying to give my students as many career exploration opportunities as possible,” Brittnee Lydy, who teaches at Dayton Regional STEM School, says.
The CGIF is grateful that Allied Mineral Products generously hosted teachers and gave them a professional development experience that will not only help them be better informed teachers, but that will also better inform their students about career opportunities that they don’t usually learn about in school.
“I just wanted to thank everybody for hosting us. I think it’s really important to look to the future generations in order to educate folks to see what these new career paths are,” Lydy says. “We’re supposed to be preparing our students to be next century learners, but if we don’t know what’s out there, we can’t prepare them very well. So inviting us here and showing us what you do helps us better understand how to prepare our students.”
Help us create more unique experiences like industry tours for educators by giving now at ceramics.org/donate.