When you work in an industry that is constantly evolving and pushing the limits of micromanufacturing technology, soliciting feedback from every possible angle offers a perspective you otherwise wouldn’t be privy to.

The more diverse and the fresh the perspective, the greater opportunity we have to develop truly unique and unexpected ideas. One strategy Accumold employs to push its knowledge is by inviting local teacher externs to immerse themselves in Accumold’s culture.

The company’s paid teacher externship programme invites educators from the community to come to its headquarters to work during their summer recess period as temporary Accumold employees.

Working side by side with its staff in various departments merges two perspective not often in the same space. Educators unique perspective on their temporary job provides new opportunities for improvements, but Accomold isn’t the only one benefiting from this fresh perspective.

This concept also allows the company to collaborate with teachers in the future workforce and what they need. First of all, they teach the firm about their students, including what they need and how to attract them. Secondly, Accumold instructs teachers in the community to better frame what careers look like for their students and how to prepare for them. It’s a big win/win.

Here is some feedback from one of Accumold’s teacher externs that just finished up her summer programme. Accumold thanks the Ankeny Community School District for lending their incredible educators, allowing it to continue to push the limits of micro-manufacturing.

Angie Hanson, a student at the Ankeny Community School District said: “I had such a wonderful externship at Accumold in Ankeny it is difficult to select one experience as the most impactful.  However, the integral role of problem-solving and collaboration play in the success of not only a project but also the company will remain at the forefront of my mind.

“I will use examples of this in the classroom to emphasise why being able to think flexibly, solve problems, persevere, and work well with others is critical to doing well in any future career pathway.

“Previously, I would tell students this based on stories from family and friends, but now I can talk about my own experiences.  This lends credibility and power to the message, especially to those students who prefer to work alone and disengage from team work.

“Now I can truly say that while working in the business world I did not see a single job in which you work in isolation all the time. Everyone had projects that required collaboration, communication, and teamwork.”

Nick Lachen, a student at the Ankeny Community School District said: “I loved seeing all of the practical applications of physics, engineering, and mathematics being used at Accumold. I think it is really cool how all of these things come together to make a product.

“People, of course, are behind every one of these steps, but some of the machines here I didn’t even know existed.

“I really enjoyed working on a problem that was valuable to the company, with a not-clear solution (not some arbitrary or contrived problem). I also had another experience where I couldn’t just google the answer. I believe many students think they will be able to google their way through all of their problems, but I tried to google my problem and it didn’t work.

“Solving problems and communicating those solutions are paramount to a successful business. This is central to everything I do in my classroom and something I will continue to foster. I really enjoyed working with everyone at Accumold.”