New lab at Miller Middle School helps students explore careers


Miller Middle School seventh graders Matthew Scharpenter, left, and Paloma Castro work in the graphic design module in the school’s Modular Technology lab recently.

A new school year brought a new lab and class to Miller Middle School which has students learning about careers in a hands-on way. The new Modular Technology (Mod Tech) Lab is up and running at the school.

Modular Technology is a career based simulation class that allows students the opportunity to explore different avenues in many different career fields.

“We have 17 different modular stations, most of which are sponsored by local businesses,” said teacher Siera Schwartz. “Having the local Marshalltown business community involved allows for the students to see what they may be interested in and where they are able to find jobs in that particular career field.”

Every seventh grade student will have the freedom to explore at least three to four different career clusters as they spend a quarter in Modular Technology. Each module gives the students 10 days of learning and understanding what each career may entail.

“It allows them to see a small glimpse into the education that goes into each career as well,” Schwartz said. “With experience in many different careers at the middle school level, we are hoping to help the students become more interested in each career cluster as they learn and grow.”

The lab will be open to the public for a special open house from 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16.

The 17 modules are:
Building and Construction
Career and Community
Computer Animation
Culinary Arts
Digital Audio Production
Digital Photography
Engineering structures
Flight Transportation
Graphic Design
Home Maintenance
Hospitality and Tourism
Nutrition and Wellness
Precision Measure
Veterinary Sciences
Web Page Design

Business sponsors for the project include:
Marshalltown Company, Mechdyne, JBS, Trending Media (KFJB/KIX101.1), Stalzer Photography, Clapsaddle-Garber Associates, Structural Engineers, P.C., Great Western Bank, Marshalltown Aviation, LRI Graphics, Alliant Energy, Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce, UnityPoint Health Foundation, Emerson and Dr. Dennis and Heidi Drager.


Student Diego Ramirez works in the building and construction module.