Workplace Simulation Programs (WSPs)

The Workplace Simulation Program is a project in which we bring central and southern Indiana employers and schools together to show underrepresented and underexposed students what a career in STEM looks like. This program allows the students to apply their classroom learning to a real STEM problem during school hours and under the guidance and mentorship of STEM professionals. Additionally, while in the Workplace Simulation Program, students learn professional standards and employability skills.

How do WSPs work?

Define

After getting a commitment from the employer and school, DirectEmployers Institute (DEI) facilitates a meeting with them to review the project scope, goals, objectives, and timelines.

Discover

At this stage, DEI dedicates a project manager to the WSP who meets with the school and employer to establish how we will run the project, track problems, and document action items.

Design

Together, DEI, the school, and the employer begin to develop project-based learning modules that replicate actual business processes at the employer partner’s workplace and that are appropriate for students.

Develop

DEI works with the school and employer to create a space within the school that authentically reflects the employer’s workspace while beginning to introduce the school’s students to the WSP.

Deploy

This stage involves the final review of the WSP to ensure that it is ready for a successful launch. All initial training and class prep materials are completed.

Deliver

The WSP is live! During this stage, DEI continues to support the WSP while the employer and school take the lead on bringing learning to life for the students we serve.

Workplace Simulation Program
Impact

Students
Learn about new STEM career options and gain hands on STEM skills and experience.
Learn employability and professional skills.
Get noticed by STEM employers to get a better chance at an internship or a job.
Parents
See their child(ren) strive and succeed in novel situations.
Teachers
Collaborate with staff to develop and document project-based learning modules that replicate actual business processes at the STEM employers workplace and that are appropriate for their students.
Schools
Receive a hands on business simulation learning space provided to the school from DirectEmployers Institute and potentially build long term connections to STEM businesses.
STEM Employers
Ensure future talent pipeline.
Increases positive brand perception.
STEM Employees
Receive opportunity and training to mentor students interested in STEM

Hear from Participants

“What stands out to me is the quality of work. It is absolutely amazing, it’s just fantastic, the attention to detail and the replication of historic buildings in their communities, that’s pretty special. … This wouldn’t happen if they did not work together in teams.”

Steve Rondinaro, Marketing Manager

“Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics has been used in ways that is completely new, fresh, and unexpected for me. Thinking of my experience 20+ years ago where Math was just doing problems on the board. It is a great way to apply STEM to life.”

Jessie Dyer, Employment Manager French Lick Resort

“We learned to work together as a team: we can figure things out, and no problem or experiment is a failure.”

Integrated Chemistry and Physics student at Springs Valley High School

Awards and Nominations

2018

  • IMPACT Award Nominee: Best Intern of the year

2017

  • TechPoint MIRA Award – The Best of Tech in Indiana Nominee for Community Champion of the Year
  • Joan Wolfe Legacy Grant
  • IMPACT Award Winners: Non-Profit Employer of the Year
  • IMPACT Award Winners: Intern of the Year
  • Impact 100 Nominee for the #WomenGivingAs1 Annual Grant

2016

  • Nina Mason Pulliam Trust Award for the Simulated Workplace Labs
  • TechPoint MIRA Award Runner Up for Duke Realty Corporation as Community Champion of the Year for their Simulated Workplace Lab
  • Skill UP Indiana!
  • IMPACT Award – Employer of the Year