Alcoa Foundation

Alcoa Foundation awarded $20,000 to the Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy.  Funds will purchase a virtual welding simulator to be utilized both as an instructional tool in the classroom and as a recruiting tool; enabling staff to provide demonstrations to prospective students.

The virtual welding simulator is currently being used at high school preview events and in the classrooms for instruction & marketing. The students both current and prospective love the welding simulator. In the classroom, the simulator provides real-time reports on the students’ ability and progress.  Students’ receive immediate feedback on problem areas and potential solutions on how to fix the problem.  Students who are struggling in the welding stall can go to the simulator to practice and build confidence before returning to the welding stall.  One student told his teacher how much having the simulator helped him build his confidence when he struggled learning a new technique.  He said he was really getting frustrated, but the simulator “gave him the confidence” he needed to get back into the welding stall.

“This simulator is amazing.  It is so realistic.  I love how it gives me a detailed summary of what I need to do to improve my technique.  This is so much better than a video game, because it applies to what I want to do.”  GWAMA   First Year welding student - 11th Grader