Why the Boys & Girls Club Is Bringing Career Exploration for Kids Into the VR World

You have to see it as it is, as the saying goes. Students must know that a job exists before they are interested in it.

The Indiana Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs puts a modern twist on the philosophy by rolling out a virtual reality career exploration program to sites across the state. According to executive director Lana Taylor, it’s an educational tool for kids that feels like a game, helping the club reconnect with teens who were off the radar in the first few years of the coronavirus pandemic. It was useful for

Using programming from VR workforce training company Transfr, Boys & Girls Club students can put on VR headsets and try to install power lines or land an airplane. Career simulations in hospitality and health are also popular, he adds.

“When I was a kid, I was like, ‘I want to be a firefighter, I want to be a nurse, I want to be a police officer.’ Nowadays, it’s like, ‘I want to be a social influencer,'” says Taylor. “It’s very important to know what their interests are and how we can adapt to them.”

Director of Strategic Initiatives at Transfr, Tom Darling has been involved in talent development for 20 years, from the K-12 level to community colleges. He says he’s learned in these 20 years that few students know what they want to do when exposed to traditional career-seeking programs that start in seventh or eighth grade. So the goal of VR simulation is to help students find their way. what they are interested in.

Darling adds that the technology will be appealing to students who have experience with VR or AR video games like Pokémon GO.

“I’m not trying to date myself, but I started developing talent before the iPhone came out,” he says. “We now have digital natives with very short attention spans, and we need to engage them quickly. So the more immersive the technology, the better.”

Starting with a pilot with 10 clubs in the summer of 2022, Taylor said it will expand to 21 more clubs in the fall, with a third to bring the VR set to more Indiana sites. A round is planned.

The VR Career Simulation is part of the Indiana Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs effort to help students deal with not only the academic “learning loss” but also the mental health and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. I support you.

“It’s a little disappointing to see how far behind the kids are when they start, but it’s really rewarding to see them making a profit,” says Taylor when students join or join clubs. About rejoining, he says. [preparation], volunteer work, art, and everything the kids do in the club has a long-term impact on them and really helps them develop and grow. ”

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