Usually to introduce a high schooler the range of careers available for them is no easy task. And when some of the academic options seem abstract, it can be a problem. But when using gamification as an approach to operations management, and therefore to Industrial Engineering, the problem simply dissapears and becomes a tremendous opportunity.
PUC Industrial Engineer uses gamification and tackles the problem!
For this reason the Industrial Engineering School of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile decided to tackle the issue: they invited students from Dr. Alejandro del Río Highschool to play the Soda Pop Game. The most friendly, entertaining and effective way to approach the students to this career.
First came a brief introduction to Industrial Engineering. Then, Professor Alejandro Mac Cawley explained the students how to play The Soda Pop Game.
In it, the player is the manager of a bottling company. Inventory management decisions, process analysis, and accepting or rejecting customer’s contracts are some of the tasks the students needed to face during the game. And at any rate they did it! And furthermore, they enjoyed it!
“The Soda Pop Game’s session that we played today was a simple one. I didn’t want to complicate the students by saying: think that the inventory costs X! The main objective was to make them learn what a factory does through the simulation in a entertaining way. By doing this they didn’t perceive the university as something that will surpass them. On the contrary, playing with the Soda Pop Game they understood that learning can be fun!”, commented Professor Mac Cawley at the end of the visit.
Game-Based Learning: First Time and success!
This is the first time the Engineer School invites students from low-income high schools to present them this career as an option to consider. The initiative came from the Engineering Students Association:
“They asked me if the Industrial Engineering School had something to show these students about what engineering is, and I said: Yes indeed! We have this simulator that is playful, very visual and simple. Let’s put them to play it so they can realize what industrial engineers do”, Alejandro MacCawley recalled the moment he proposed using the Soda Pop Game for this activity, while adding before concluding:”this game fits perfectly!”.
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