Making a Difference through Family & Consumer Sciences: A RealCare Baby® User Spotlight

Posted February 10, 2018 | by Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

Finance. Housing and interior design. Food science. Human development. The life and career skills that Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) educators equip students with can have a significant impact on their lives. In the two decades since RealCare Baby® first made its debut, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many dedicated FCS professionals who were using RealCare Baby to help prepare young people for their future. In this RealCare Baby User Spotlight, we explore how Battle High School Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher Amanda McGovern uses Baby in her program.

Since September 2013, McGovern has used Baby to provide her Child Development 1 & 2 students with authentic, hands-on learning experiences as they discuss human development. As a result, McGovern’s 14- to 18-year-old students leave the classroom more prepared for children in the future and for careers related to child care.

“The Babies have become so much more than just a project for these students,” said McGovern, who has 11 RealCare Baby 3 infant simulators and one RealCare® Pregnancy Profile® Simulator. “They have really become a great discussion piece for choosing to parent or building their resumes for jobs.”

Now, McGovern incorporates these experiential learning tools and the accompanying curricula regularly, sending Babies home with students for the weekend and also using them during in-class “Baby Bootcamp” sessions. During these sessions, McGovern turns all 11 Babies to demonstration mode and students practice changing their clothes and getting them in and out of car seats while addressing their frequent needs.

“I love the authentic learning, and the reports are incredible,” said McGovern. “I use the provided curriculum frequently to engage students and provide multiple means of learning. It’s easily integrated into classes and provides a great variety of activities. Students are challenged to do this project and take of this Baby for longer than most have ever cared for a real child. The experience takes them out of their comfort zone, and the learning is authentic. It really makes an impact on students now and in the future.”

Ready to learn more about the impact RealCare Baby could have on your program? 

  • Get details about this powerful simulator and the curriculum that accompanies it by clicking here
  • Learn more about Realityworks’ partnership with the American Academy of Family and Consumer Sciences by clicking here
  • Read the Amanda McGovern’s complete story (originally published in 2016) by clicking here

Teaching 21st Century Welding Students: The Tools You Need to Engage and Train

By Jamey McIntosh, Realityworks RealCareer Product Manager

As the skills gap continues to widen and CTE educators focus more and more on meeting 21st century learning with 21st century technology, the need for efficient methods of developing student’s skills – the skills of our future workforce – is bigger than ever before.

The American Welding Society estimates that by 2020 – just two years away – there will be a shortage of 290,000 professionals, including inspectors, engineers, welders and teachers. For welding instructors and trainers, finding tools that provide the best course of student training will help engage and develop the skilled welders our workforce needs.

One way to provide such training to 21st century learners, while addressing the skills gap, is through a robust welding solution – a solution that will transform your classroom into a 21st century welding lab.

A 21st century welding lab, complete with the technology and tools needed by 21st century students, would not only to engage students and encourage them to enter welding courses, but improve upon their welding techniques so they become proficient. Through three stages of learning, each of which incorporates various technologies, this welding solution emphasizes individual skill development, trains welders faster and in the end, develops our workforce.

3 Steps to a 21st Century Welding Lab

Virtual reality welding simulators have become the first step of such a solution. These technologically advanced tools engage students in the skill of welding while providing a safe environment in which to learn techniques, proper angles and muscle memory.

The second stage of this welding solution would feature guidance and training during live welding in the welding booth. This guided reality experience would allow students to hone their skills, correct positioning and master welds faster – all while slowly getting used to a real welding environment.

Finally, the solution would see students do actual welds without guidance.

Meet the solution

A robust welding solution is now available through Realityworks’ welding solutions.

It begins with the guideWELD® VR welding simulator, a virtual reality welding simulator that enables students to master basic welding skills and learn proper technique in a safe, virtual environment.

It continues with the guideWELD™ LIVE real welding guidance system, an in-helmet solution for live welding that provides immediate feedback on work angle, travel angle and speed while the user is performing live, arc-on welds.

Both tools can be used by instructors – who can have as much as a 1/25 teacher-to-student ratio — to help with classroom management and ensure that improvements continue with all students.

Instructors have seen the impact of the Realityworks’ welding solutions program, particularly feedback during live welding. In fact, instructors report that students have improved their technique by at least a week after being guided during live welds. As Hutchinson Community College Welding Instructor Greg Seipert stated after his students used guideWELD LIVE, “My students get it and their welds improve, along with their confidence.”

It is vital that educators utilize technology that truly works for our future workforce. Realityworks’ welding solutions were created by welders for welding education to help develop the skills of today’s students. Finding a full solution for your classroom will not only prepare your 21st century students for the future but address our nation’s skills gap as well.

Ready to learn more? Explore all of Realityworks’ welding solutions by clicking here

 

Powerful. Memorable. Impactful. – The Shaken Baby Simulator

Powerful. Memorable. Impactful. 

These are the words we hear most often when speaking with instructors who use our Shaken Baby Simulator to educate young people on a situation that is 100% preventable: Child abuse.

This life-sized, electronic simulator dramatically depicts how an infant’s brain is affected by just a few seconds of shaking.  Act now and save >>

Right now, you can get this powerful tool free with a qualifying RealCare Baby purchase.

12 Eye-Opening Stats About Health Care Careers

Today’s health care students are unique.

They’re tech-savvy. They have short attention spans. They love to learn, but they are not afraid to ask “why?” – why are you teaching them this task, why are they practicing that concept, why are they studying this topic?

One way to answer those questions is to show your health care students just how in-demand health care careers are. Doing so will give them a better understanding of why the skills they are learning are so important.

This infographic contains 12 eye-opening statistics about health care careers. Download it today to give your students a daily reminder of the career opportunities you are preparing them for.

Learn more: Our latest webinar, Cool Tools for Engaging Today’s Healthcare Students, explores innovative classroom resources for teaching healthcare students with short attention spans, excellent technology skills and a desire for authentic, real-world learning experiences. Watch it here.

FACS National Standards Aligned Curriculum

As a member of the Alliance for Family and Consumer Science, we are proud to support their mission to advance the profession by enhancing communication, developing leaders, and supporting public policy education and engagement. One development we have been watching with interest has been the recent update to the FACS National Standards by the National Association of State Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences (NASAFACS).

According to NASAFACS, in May 2014, they initiated a project to update the national standards again, utilizing a highly participatory process that involved over 2,000 stakeholders providing input and feedback. The Family and Consumer Sciences National Standards continues the proud tradition of providing the framework for national, state, and local programs that prepare students for family life, work life, and careers in Family and Consumer Sciences by empowering individuals and families across the life span to manage the challenges of living and working in a diverse global society. Source: NASAFACS 2018, Third Edition

We are happy to provide an updated curricular alignment to the newly revised FACS National Standards. All hands-on learning resources in the RealCare product line from Realityworks include a comprehensive curriculum. Now you can see how each curriculum correlates to the FACS National Standards. Just click here!

Ready for the Workforce: Realityworks’ Youth Apprentices Share Projects with State Governor

“See those wires there? We’re trying to get rid of them. We want to make the whole thing smaller, so you can hold it in your hand instead of display it on the tabletop.”

If this statement was overheard outside the office of a mechanical engineer, you wouldn’t think twice. After all, it’s their job to develop, build and test the mechanics of tools, engines and machines, adapting and modifying as needed. In fact, this statement was made by 18-year-old Seth Kooiker, a senior at North High School in Eau Claire, WI and one of two youth apprentices at Realityworks, Inc.

Run by the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program is part of a statewide School-to-Work initiative. It gives high school students the opportunity to spend 1-2 years getting hands-on learning experience in an occupational area. Seth and Gabe LeGore, also a North High School senior, have been working at Realityworks since June 2016.

On Friday, January 5, Seth and Gabe had the opportunity to present some of their recent projects to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who made a brief stop at the high school to see examples of premier youth apprentice programs in the area. As they explained to Governor Walker, the two had been tasked with modifying Realityworks’ Electrical Wiring Kit, a portable, battery-operated kit that allows students to practice basic electrical wiring skills. Seth and Gabe’s efforts thus far have included rewiring, prototyping and simple machine operation.

“We’ve had dozens of students come to Realityworks through Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program, and we’ve always gotten a lot of value from it,” said Realityworks Engineering Manager Jeremiah Bauer, who mentors the company’s apprentices. “These students spend the first few months getting up to speed, and by their second year, you can send them a project and they can take it and run. Seth and Gabe are a great example of that. You can trust them to contribute, and they’re getting a jumpstart on the working world.”

The Electrical Wiring Kit is one of many projects that Seth and Gabe have been tasked with modifying, improving or creating since their 2-year apprenticeships began in June 2016. Other projects include developing an aquaponics kit, a blood pressure simulator and several other electronic and software prototypes. They’ve used imaging programs, learned machining programs and mathematical statistic programs.

“The level of knowledge gained by our youth apprentices is easy to see and forthcoming. The level of benefit to the company is unforeseen,” said Realityworks Mechanical Engineer Mike Zaborowski, who works closely with Gabe and Seth. “When you realize that you have helped guide a young mind to a future role, its only then you can clearly see the future of industry and business. The youth apprentice program makes the future very bright.”

Reflecting on Tradeshow Season 2017

Our account managers had a great time attending over 100 conferences, conventions and symposiums across the country throughout 2017. We asked them which shows stood out to them the most, and here’s what they had to say. Were you at one of these shows? Keep reading to find out!

Sarah Philen, Account Manager for ID, MI, MT, NM, WA and WY

“My favorite show this past year was in Austin, TX. Eric, Kelly and I gave a presentation on the Geriatric Simulator and the group was fantastic. We even had a volunteer who wore the suit and was such a good sport! I could feel how passionate the group was about Gerontology and they gave excellent feedback. Being involved with passionate educators is one of the best parts of my job.”

Kelly Greig, Account Manager for AL, LA, MS, TX and WI

“The one that really stands out to me was ACTA in Alabama. I met some amazing teachers and administrators and everyone was extremely welcoming to me. Most of the other vendors and participants knew each other well, but instead of feeling like an outsider, they introduced themselves to me, invited me to do things with them and just really went out of their way to make me feel at home. The event itself was well-organized and FUN. All in all, it was fantastic!”

Anne Bogstad, Account Manager for AK, CA, HI, NV, OR and UT

“I can’t pick just one! Each has its own uniqueness from the people and their goals to the venue itself.  I’ve been set up inside a barn with plywood dividers, beautiful banquet halls, event spaces so large you get lost and quaint spaces – like the one with a grizzly bear 10 feet from me (stuffed of course). In CA, my agriculture educators were challenged with the drought, many had to sell their livestock because they couldn’t feed them due to lack of water/crops. In remote Alaska, students get opportunities like riding with the Fish and Game to tag caribou as they migrate south, learning snow machine safety in schools and welding for the pipeline. I have the privilege of meeting teachers face to face and hearing how their students’ lives are changed, the new technology in the classrooms and new approaches they are taking as educators.”

Amy Underwood, Account Manager for CT, DE, KY, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, RI,  PA, TN and VT

“We were invited to present on our family of products with focus on guideWELD RealCareer Welding Solutionsat the2017 Institute for CTE Educators. The conference participants were so excited to see the new products. We even had a kindergarten student stop by with her father who is an Agriculture Teacher at a Tennessee high school. They were both impressed with the Chicken Model and the kindergartner took apart the chicken and put it back together all by herself. She even shared that they have Easter Egg laying chickens on their farm—some lay blue eggs and others lay yellow eggs. Her father then explained the process of bleaching eggs that go to market and how long eggs can last if they are not washed immediately. It was a great lesson for me as I continue increasing my knowledge of agriculture.”

“Deana Ramsey, Principal at the Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice Center School in Philadelphia, invited me to co-present on the guideWELD RealCareer Welding Solutions and Employability Skills Program at the N&D Symposium at Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. The educators had a chance to try out the virtual welding unit while they discussed how virtual welding could be implemented within their “career exploration and career ready” programming. The educators had a wonderful time exploring how the assessment of each weld was done and the safety aspects of this virtual welding unit.”

Seth Short, Account Manager for FL, GA, IN and OH

“My favorite show of 2017 was the National FFA Convention. It was a great place to see the interaction of teacher and student, to get to know and understand agriculture and what their needs are. We had a student (Junior in High School) explaining one of our future products to his teacher and class. He was using our Bovine Breeder Prototype and explaining the AI process. It was amazing to see someone so young explain something so complex. Seeing students and teachers coming together from across the nation was an incredible experience. They were teaching us more than we could ever dream of sharing with them.”

While these are only a few examples of the many from the past year, we appreciate every opportunity we have to talk to and learn from the many students, educators and administrators we meet every year. From all of us at Realityworks, thank you for sharing these moments with us. We look forward to continuing these discussions and experiences in 2018 and beyond.

Looking Back at 2017

2017 was the year of amazing announcements for Realityworks. The team launched more than 40 new products bringing solutions to a wide variety of educators around the world. The Company now has training solutions for educators in health sciences, agriculture, welding, manufacturing, family and consumer sciences, and more. It is interesting to look at the growth in our product offerings these days. The addition of simulators that get you to feel what it is like to be old and have glaucoma is a great solution that customers are raving about. The animal models are also a great hit bringing new excitement to the classroom. The new health sciences products are just getting to market and creating buzz.

We welcome all of our new customers to the Realityworks family. This success is due not only to the team at Realityworks but also our amazing customers and advisers that help us understand what direction we need to head, what products we should be offering, and what challenges we can help solve. Thank you to each and every one of you for what you do. Please let us know how we are doing and how we can help you further so we can continue to deliver valuable solutions to the classroom.

As we look towards the new year, I leave you with this:

So goes by another year of Babies

With pregnancy simulation, storage carts, and infant care cheer

We then moved onto fake welding

Followed by real sparks and other welding gear

The animals then all rushed to market with fame

Loo and behold the whole barnyard came

When they arrived at tradeshows

Agriculture teachers found more they could use

We then marched onto health sciences

With tools those instructors could use

The simulators that made you feel old

Generated great buzz galore

This brought new customers

To grow the Company even more

Merry Christmas to all and a happy new year

We look forward to continuing to serve you

And thank you for all that you do

Thank you for a great 2017 and have a happy new year!

Timm

Is RealCare Baby Recognizing Student ID’s?

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

Many educators use RealCare® Baby’s demonstration mode to give their students practice caring for Baby before taking it home for an overnight simulation experience. Once in a while, however, Baby will respond perfectly to the student ID during a demonstration but not respond to the student ID during the actual simulation. Why might this happen? Demonstration mode is a great way to test the functionality of Baby’s antenna and the student ID, as Baby will respond to any student ID in a demonstration, even one that is not programmed to that Baby. Because of that fact, demonstration mode is not a good way to verify whether the correct ID is being used.

Follow these steps to verify that you are using the correct ID for your Baby:

  1. In the Control Center Software, select the Baby from the “Available” screen and click “Program Baby.”
  2. On the “Program Baby” screen, check the numbers under ID1 or ID2 and compare them to the numbers that are printed on your student ID.

If you have all zeroes or something other than what is printed on your student ID, you will need to program a new ID to the Baby. Follow the steps on this “How to Change Student IDs” document to assign a new ID.

HowToChangeStudentIDs-SupportDoc

Additional Product Support resources like video tutorials, documentation, webinars and FAQs can be found in our online Product Support Center. If you need further support, contact our Product Support Team by calling 800.830-1416, option 2, or emailing productsupport@realityworks.com.

Educators Weigh In: 5 Ways to Use Virtual Reality Welding Simulators in the Classroom

By now, you’ve probably heard that that virtual reality welding simulators like guideWELD® VR can save you time and money while engaging students and training them more efficiently. And it’s true – studies like this one have been published that support the effectiveness of these teaching tools.

To help you get started with virtual reality welding simulators so you can see these results for yourself, we asked seasoned users from across the country how they were using these tools in their programs. Keep reading for 5 ways to use virtual reality welding simulators in the classroom.

5 Ways to Use Virtual Reality Welding Simulators in the Classroom

1: Use them to recruit students for your welding program

“We can’t bring students into the actual shop because of the liability, but with the simulator, students can get the feel for it and kind of see what’s going on before enrolling,” said George Karr, IT Administrator and Welding Instructor for the Hollenstein Career &
Technology Center in Fort Worth, TX. “Before school started, we had kids come in with their older siblings during  orientation who remembered using the simulator last year and were excited to show their younger brother or sister. They really like it – it’s a great recruiting tool.”

2: Use them to provide welding and manufacturing career exploration opportunities

“A lot of these kids have never touched a welder or turned a lathe in their life,” said Mobile Manufacturing Lab Technician John Paulus, who uses the guideWELD VR welding simulator in the Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Mobile Manufacturing Lab to provide middle- and high-school students from across Western Wisconsin with manufacturing career exploration opportunities. “We’re trying to get these kids excited about getting skilled and getting into manufacturing careers. This equipment is enhancing our ability to do that.”

3. Use them to engage students with classroom competitions

“We had competitions with the guideWELD VR unit… everyone was trying to beat each other’s scores and kept taking more turns. Everyone was really excited about it,” recalled Rodian Manjarres, a second-year student at the J. Harley Bonds Career Center in Greer, SC. “I liked it a lot because I could beat the guys at it. There are only a few of us that can get the gun to turn gold.”

4. Use them to keep more students productive – and safe

“When students asked why they were having to slow down or speed up or whatever, I’d walk through their weld with them,” stated Karr. “Once they got going, I could walk away from them and oversee other students in the shop who were working on something else. The kids using simulators didn’t need as much help as those working alone – it told them what to do so I could go help someone who needed it.

5. Use them to generate community support for your program

Harlan Community High School Agriculture Education Teacher Dan Leinen recalled one specific reason why his was able to fundraise money relatively easily: the welding simulators themselves.

“We had one here already, and if people wanted, they could come here and see it,” said Leinen. “When people got their hands on it and saw what they would be supporting, and experienced what the kids would do in the classroom, it was a huge seller.”

Leinen recalls one company owner who had an FFA background but had never welded. He sat down and tried the simulator and almost instantly committed to donating funds.

“In today’s economy, it’s hard to get funds from companies,” stated Leinen. “But if you can  show them what they’re supporting, that makes a difference.”

Ready to learn more about the guideWELD VR welding simulator? Click here.