CRANE, Ind. — Crane Army Ammunition Activity joined with non-profit Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc. to immerse local educators in STEM careers throughout the region as part of ROI’s Educator Boot Camp at Westgate Academy June 19.

Crane Army employees participated in educational and hiring panels before demonstrating Crane Army’s STEM opportunities first-hand through job-shadowing tours for teachers at CAAA facilities.

Crane Army Commander Col. Michael Garlington briefed area educators on the organization’s mission areas and STEM capabilities.

“This Educator Boot Camp is a great way to inform local teachers and outside partners about the kinds of STEM opportunities here at Crane Army,” Garlington said. “Our employees utilize STEM skills every day to provide quality munitions for Warfighters.”

During the educational panel, CAAA employees shared their experience and knowledge and informed teachers about how STEM impacts their everyday work.

Crane Army Quality Assurance Manager Lara Zilafro hopes the attending teachers share the information with their students who may be interested in STEM jobs.

“Teachers have a unique opportunity to spark fascination within young people,” Zilafro said. “This fascination can lead to a path to a fulfilling STEM career, hopefully at Crane Army. I was able to enlighten teachers to opportunities they never knew existed.”

Teachers from Bloomfield, Monroe County, Bedford North Lawrence, Richland-Blossom, Spencer Owen and Washington Community schools shadowed Crane Army employees in multiple operations including environmental sciences, manufacturing, quality inspections and control, machining and the chemistry lab.

Washington High School teacher Jamie Strange plans to tell her students about all the STEM careers available right here in southern Indiana.

“As a high school teacher, it’s beneficial to see what careers are available within driving distance so my students can stay close to home,” Strange said. “I appreciate knowing what skills and education they need to succeed in careers like these.”

Adrienne Evans Fernandez, an education specialist for ROI, highlighted the importance of Crane Army’s participation.

“Crane Army has a wide diversity of types of jobs available,” said Fernandez. “We want teachers to be aware of that, as well as the opportunities and potential for growth at every education level.”

The event was part of a week-long experience to expose teachers to STEM -focused careers in the Indiana Uplands.

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