Mar 30, 2022
We recorded today's conversation on location in the conference room at Frederick County Economic Development Authority to chat with Business Retention Manager, Shayla Rickard.
Shayla gave me all the details for the Widget Cup which happens on Thursday, April 7, 2022. Established in 2015, the Frederick County EDA's regional Widget Cup® event is an annual competition for high school teams drawn from students attending public schools in Frederick County, Clarke County, and Winchester, Virginia. Participating students solve a real-life business problem for a local employer by using skills acquired through Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses.
Over the course of a full day of competition, the Widget Cup teams will design and build a product for a local business client who has expressed a real need for an object, tool, or structure. The project is not announced until the day of the event. Each team is provided the same starting materials. The students work together to problem-solve, design, and build a functioning device that the business client will use in their day-to-day operations.
Using science, math, technology, and career trades skills, the student teams have one hour to create the design of their custom “widget.” Then the team must build a fully functioning prototype. Projects for client participants in past years have included storage systems, work benches and gates for the Glen Burnie Gardens at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.
Throughout the day, the teams are judged by industry professionals using an extensive rubric. The students should be prepared to exemplify teamwork, leadership, and technical skill, among other qualities employers are seeking.
At the conclusion of the day’s event, the Widget Cup trophy, designed and manufactured by local metal fabricator Fabritek/Winchester Tool, is presented to the winning team. The trophy will remain on display at the winner's school until the next year's event.
For more information about the Widget Cup, click here to visit their website.
In the second segment, we talked about the Worlds of Work (W0W!) Expo happening April 21 & 22, 2022 in the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center at Shenandoah University.
Each year, businesses, educators, and economic development partners in Clarke County, Frederick County, Page County, Rappahannock County, Shenandoah County, Warren County, and Winchester, Virginia, come together to host Worlds of Work.
Nearly 3,000 eighth grade students from the region experience WoW! each year. More than 70 businesses showcase equipment, vehicles, and machinery that students climb into, fix, and manipulate. There are also animals’ students can touch and care for as well as life-like mannequins they might splint and stitch. The event is designed to be a hands-on exploration of possible careers.
During the event, students move through 10 different industry sectors, or “Work Worlds,” and participate in brief, hands-on activities. More than 70 businesses participate each year providing students with a look into each of these 10 business sectors:
Worlds of Work is open to all students (including home-schooled students) in the 7-district region. As part of their regular curriculum, all 8th grade public school students in the WoW! service region will attend Worlds of Work.
Worlds of Work is a career exploration event managed by Lord Fairfax Community College Career Pathways Consortium, in partnership with Barrett Machine, Inc., Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, Frederick County Economic Development Authority, and Winchester Economic Development Authority.
For more information about participating in the event, click here to visit the website.