NextFlex Engaging Middle School Students with FlexFactor®

Education, Electronics, Manufacturing, STEM, Workforce

NextFlex, a Manufactoring USA institute, just concluded two iterations of its new one-day pilot program – FlexFactor® Sprint: Balance in STEM for Middle School. This new program was launched with students from two Union School District schools: Dartmouth Middle School and Union Middle School, and it provides a means of engaging younger students with next generation technologies and STEM-based education and career pathways, thereby catalyzing a diverse group of future industry leaders.

This special version of FlexFactor was created to bring focus to the importance of early engagement when seeking to attract a diverse range of youth to the advanced manufacturing sector. Denise Clay, Union School District Superintendent explains, “The younger the child, the more open they are to possibilities. They are less constrained by the word ‘can’t,’ and by empowering children as young as 8 or 10 to take risks and try new things, we capture their curiosity and set them up for a mindset that encourages them to think creatively. We try to inspire them to first see beyond the boundaries that are so often set in their teenage years.”


FlecFactor middle school students

L to R: 1) Balance in STEM students from Dartmouth Middle School gowning up to tour the cleanroom and make their own flexible circuits. 2) Union Middle School students conceptualizing a technology product solution for a human health problem. 3) Certificates of completion for Dartmouth Middle School Balance in STEM students.