Eleven fourth and fifth grade Lehighton students recently had the opportunity to learn about logistics during a tour of the UPS facility in Tamaqua.
On Dec. 2, the students, who are part of the Lehigh Carbon Community College SHINE after-school program's Middle School Career Club, traveled to the worldwide business to learn how the company operates and see what types of careers are in the logistics field.
Leona Rega, assistant director of the SHINE after-school program, explained that the goal of these field trips is to help show the students high priority careers and tie each lesson into the subjects, such as science and mathematics, that the students are learning about in school.
"This month's theme is Around the World so fourth and fifth graders are learning about logistics, manufacturing, and global careers," she said.
Rega noted that the fourth and fifth grade SHINE students from each of the six SHINE campuses L.B. Morris, Penn-Kidder, Panther Valley, Shenandoah Valley, Mahanoy Area, and Shull-David are participating in the Middle School Career Club, which runs throughout the school year.
"The kids love the program," Rega said, adding that parents saw an increase in their child's grades during the program last year, which ran only as a five-week course. "If they saw an increase in the students' grades in only five weeks, imagine what these kids can do in a year."
During the tour, Earl Yeager, business manager for UPS, and Steve Musto, manager, talked to the students about the operations at the Tamaqua facility and how packages are sorted, shipped and delivered through technology.
Yeager took the students from the unloading area, where packages are removed from trucks and sent down the long conveyor belt, to where they are logged, sorted, and sent to their next destination.
He talked about the safety practices that each employee must abide by; as well as career fields that individuals can go into in the UPS company.
Yeager then turned over the floor to Musto, who showed the students how delivery men and women navigate their route using a program that utilizes GPS coordinates to pinpoint the best route for quick and efficient deliveries.
Musto said the program helps cut down on delivery times and solve large problems using mathematical algorithms.
He also let the students find their homes in the program and see the route a UPS delivery person takes when delivering packages in Lehighton.
Following the tour, the students had the opportunity ask questions and see the delivery trucks return from their deliveries.
This week, the Middle School Career Club from L.B. Morris Elementary in Jim Thorpe will learn about wind power and the careers associated with this technology through a field trip to see a windmill.
This is the second year the SHINE Middle School Career Club has been in the area schools.
Last year, four campuses tested out the club by participating in five-week programs, which taught the students about high priority careers.