How to have enough skilled professionals working tomorrow? Get them excited about learning technology today. That’s the idea behind a robust video project at East Tennessee PBS. It’s a fun way to pop a minute or so of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math into the fun of watching kids’ cartoons!
What does a machinist do? How do they wield their skills to make stuff we need for everyday life? What mix of math and other STEM skills does it take to become a machinist? Those are the kinds of questions a brief video answers in the JobPop series already running locally.
The target audience for viewing the JobPop series is school-aged children in the 5–12-year range. However, producing the series has become an added layer of technical education for University of Tennessee students. Professor Nick Geidner leads the Land Grant Films group of students who learn various aspects of video production to create the videos.
“JobPop provides us with a great opportunity to provide our students with real-world video production experience, while creating something that is really beneficial and useful to the community,” said Geidner. East Tennessee PBS is creating extra features for parents to use with kids after they watch the videos. This work is made possible because of a grant via the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Connected Communities initiative.
Technology-reliant careers in the pipeline as JobPop features include: pilot, welder, computer programmer, chef, nurse, landscape designer and logistics specialist. Another JobPop will focus on what a solar professional does.
Solar Alliance was honored for General Manager Jon Hamilton to be interviewed about what is involved in designing and installing commercial-scale photovoltaic systems. “I’m encouraged that the wider community can learn about this growing job field for skilled solar professionals,” said Hamilton.
The JobPop features are in various stages of production to air during 2023 and 2024. In addition to showing how professionals learn to work with technology, the series also aims to show how people work with their hands and with other people.
Geidner said, “We are really excited to get these videos out in the community and have kids learn about all the amazing and unique jobs in East Tennessee!”