Invitation to Participate™: 2015 Academy Expo Industry Expert

Event Date:
October 15, 2015
Date of Release:
May 15, 2015
Respond on-line by:
August 25, 2015

Project overview:

The Alignment Rockford Academy Expo A-Team is seeking businesses and organizations to participate in the 2015 Academy Expo to be held at the BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., on Thursday, October 15, 2015 from 8:00am to 3:00pm. The purpose of the Academy Expo is to engage 9th graders in a variety of career experiences. Rockford Public Schools students will utilize this event to make an academy selection in January 2016. Rockford Public Schools and Alignment Rockford are also hosting 9th grade students from Belvidere, Harlem and Hononegah School Districts for an overall total of approximately 3,000 students.

Services needed from the community:

The Alignment Rockford Academy Expo team invites you to have a booth at the 2015 Academy Expo. Industry experts are encouraged to host a booth at no charge, to meet with students and discuss your career with them. You are strongly encouraged to provide a hands-on activity in which students can participate. Equipment and props are more than welcome. Some past props have included live animals, a tree, medical equipment, hydraulic lift, a semi-truck, chemical experiments, ambulance and fire truck, police cars, banking/teller station/ATM, jet engine, and more.

Set up will take place at BMO Harris Bank Center on Wednesday, October 14 between 3:00pm and 7:00pm. Large equipment set up will take place in the morning of the 14th. (Please let us know as soon as possible if you plan to bring large equipment.) The event takes place at approximately 8:00am to 3:00pm on Thursday, October 15. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Additionally, you will be provided one 8' x 10' booth, table, tablecloth and two chairs. It is highly recommended that at least two people staff the Expo.

Booths will be divided into four sections: 

  • Business/Arts/Modern World Languages/Information Technology (BAMIT)
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial and Trades Technology (EMITT)
  • Health Care (HS)
  • Human and Public Services (HPS)

Approximately 3,000 students will attend the event from nine local high schools. All students in attendance will be freshmen in high school. During the Academy Expo students will practice introducing themselves to Industry Experts and asking questions about the specific career. These questions might include:

  • Why did the Industry Expert choose this career? 
  • Describe the work experience/typical day.
  • What qualifications are needed for a specific position?

Industry experts are not allowed to give students anything, including but not limited to: paper/brochures, giveaways, and promotional items. If needed, Alignment Rockford staff will work with you to help develop a hands-on demonstration of your career.

Booth examples from winners of "Best in Academy" at last year's Academy Expo:

  • BAMIT Academy: Rockford Area Realtors brought a giant plinko board and had students place their plinko chip down the slots. The plinko landed on a type of property and the students had to calculate commission based on the property sale price.
  • EMITT Academy: Painters District Council #30 Local 607 invited students to try the SimSpray virtual spray paint simulator, which provides a hands-on feel for work in the finishing trades.
  • HPS Academy: Rockford Park District horticulture staff brought a tree that had been infested with Emerald Ash Borer and discussed with students how to naturally treat plants and trees so that they continue to impact our environment in a positive way.
  • HS Academy: Thermo Fisher Scientific simulated a crime scene and provided students with numerous tools such as a black light to show DNA, to assist the students in collecting evidence to solve the crime.
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