by Deborah Sullivan Brennan
A tour of the company Solatube gave Vista middle schoolers a glimpse Wednesday of what it’s like to work in an engineering-focused environment.
Two dozen students visited the firm — which manufactures tubular skylights known as “daylighting” systems — through a program called “Talent Cities,” which enlists businesses to help connect students’ interests with potential career choices.
“From a district perspective, this grew from a desire to get kids energized and seeing themselves in the world of work,” said Robert Crowell, who leads service learning programs for Vista Unified School District.
Talent Cities started with a single visit to Solatube last December, and grew out of the district’s work with New York-based educational consultancy New Learning Ventures. This month, 130 Vista students are visiting five employers participating in the program including Datron World Communications, Watkins Wellness, the Vista Irrigation District, and the IT department of Vista Unified School District.
At Solatube on Wednesday, students learned how the company designs, makes and markets its solar lighting tubes, which funnel sunlight to indoor spaces.