This new service brings our signature Career Test Drive® Program straight to the classroom, providing your students a hands-on, career-connected learning experience.

Career Test Drive® Lab

Career Test Drive® Labs offer schools and youth-serving organizations a hands-on career exploration experience suited to intermediate (Grades 7-9) and advanced (Grades 10+) youth. BridgeYear’s Career Labs combine the in-person nature of our signature Fairs with the small-scale nature of our Kits to bring youth meaningful career exploration straight to the classroom. You can schedule BridgeYear to come out to your school for our full-service BridgeYear Facilitation, or select our Self/Teacher Facilitation option to implement Career Labs with students on your own.

Hands-On Activities Build Career Identity

BridgeYear’s Career Labs come with everything needed for an engaging hands-on experience. Each career simulation lasts around 45 minutes and is designed to help students build career identity and explore how different careers fit their interests and skills. All simulations are designed in partnership with employers and industry experts to ensure accuracy and alignment with real-life career tasks. 

A Baltimore student completing out hands-on career simulation as an Electrician. 

A Baltimore student exploring Medical Lab Technician in the classroom from his desk.

Career Exploration in Your Classroom

The Career Lab program is designed specifically for the classroom. By combining the in-person nature of our signature Fairs with the small-scale nature of our Kits, our Career Lab program offers an immersive career exploration experience from the comfort of your students’ desks.

Flexible Facilitation to Support Your Students

Our Career Lab program offers two facilitation options: BridgeYear Facilitation or Self/Teacher Facilitation. The BridgeYear Facilitation option offers a truly plug-and-play experience where our trained staff implement the full Career Lab curriculum with your students. However, for those located outside the Greater Houston area, we also offer a Self/Teacher Facilitation option with all the materials needed to guide your students through our Career Lab experience. 

BridgeYear’s Program Operations Manager facilitating our Finish Carpenter simulation.

BridgeYear’s first time implementing our in-person (BridgeYear Facilitation) Career Lab program outside of Texas in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Available to Schools and Organizations Nationwide

In addition to serving youth in our home city of Houston, we have expanded our service area to reach students outside of Texas. Both our BridgeYear Facilitation and Self/Teacher Facilitation options are available nationwide with our Career Test Drive® program having already reached youth in cities like Baltimore, Chicago and Newark!

Help young people discover their career path through hands-on exploration

Career Test Drive® Labs serve intermediate (Grades 7-9) and advanced (Grades 10+) youth. Career simulations are scaffolded according to age and skill to ensure difficulty matches youth’s ability level.

Intermediate: Grades 7-9

By exposing youth to in-demand careers they can get obtain accreditation for during high school, our Career Test Drive® program helps students decide what CTE pathway aligns with their skills and interests and inspires them to optimize their time in high school to succeed in the workforce.

Advanced: Grades 10+

Advanced youth, especially high school seniors and opportunity youth, have been BridgeYear’s primary programming focus since 2016. Our Career Test Drive® program helps youth plan their path out of high school by exposing them to affordable, in-demand pathways they can pursue immediately.
"Watching students' eyes light up when their light bulb came alive and they believed they could do it after several trial and errors - that was the take away moment for me."
Adenike akintillo
Manager - Work Based Learning, Baltimore City Public Schools

How to book a Career Test Drive® Lab event for your students

Our Career Test Drive® Lab program can fit almost any event or school schedule. Below are sample schedules and more information about our career simulations you can view to envision what a Career Lab event might look like at your school or organization. To book a Career Lab event for your students, fill out our Inquiry From and be sure you can answer all seven questions outlined in Step 3 below. Check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this page for more information.

1. Determine what kind of Career Lab event you want to plan.

Review our sample schedules to the right for ideas on how you can structure your Career Lab event (click on the images to scroll through enlarged views). 

Sample schedules are grouped by the following:

  • School Day – Block Schedule
  • School Day – Max 30 students per period
  • School Day – Max 60 students per period
  • Small Event
  • Large Event (custom schedules only)

Don’t see a sample schedule that matches your needs? Let us know. We can build a custom schedule for you!

2. Determine which career(s) you want your students to try on.

Every career we highlight offers stable wages, lifelong opportunities for advancements and are currently in-demand by employers:

  • Electrician
  • Finish Carpenter
  • Medical Lab Technician
  • Heath Information Technician
  • Auto Technician – Wheel Balancing
    (Intermediate Youth only)
  • Auto Technician – Advanced Driver Assistance Service
    (Advanced Youth only)

3. Complete an inquiry form so BridgeYear can send you a quote.

Before completing the inquiry form, make sure you can answer these 5 questions:

  1. Event date(s) for program implementation
  2. Preferred schedule (see step 1)
  3. Career choices (see step 2)
  4. Age group of your students/youth (Intermediate vs Advanced)
  5. Number of students/youth participating

Help your students explore their future career

Schedule an Interest Meeting

Still have a few questions? Schedule an interest meeting to speak directly with Evelyn Melgar, our Product and Sales Manager!

Frequently Asked Questions

That’s okay! BridgeYear is committed to building whatever Career Lab event you are interested in. If your dream event doesn’t look like the samples above, let us know and we can craft a custom schedule just for you. 

Note: Provide as many details as possible in your inquiry form that way we can accurately quote you and help you advance through the planning process quickly and efficiently. 

Each sample schedule above features a general estimate. However, BridgeYear uses several factors to estimate a quote upon completion of your inquiry form, including: number of students, number of careers, duration of event (single class period/day vs multiple class periods/ days), number of BridgeYear personnel needed, distance from office. 

Thanks to generous support from donors, foundations and employer partners, BridgeYear may be able to offer you need-based, subsidized pricing. Let us know your budget and we can work together to discuss options.

Yes, our Career Lab program is available to any school or organization located within the United States.

For our BridgeYear Facilitated Career Lab service, there will be additional fees for schools and organizations located outside the Greater Houston area. 

For our Self/Teacher Facilitated Career Lab program, we can ship all materials to any location within the United States. This will require additional postage fees. 

We currently have 4 BridgeYear facilitators. The max ratio of facilitators to students is 1:15. This means that if all 4 BridgeYear Facilitators are working, we can facilitate a max of 60 students at one time. 

Each Career Lab activity takes about 45 minutes (roughly the duration of a single class period) to complete, which includes:

  • Learning important background of the career
  • Completing all steps of the career simulation
  • Discussing the different pathways and credentials a prospective career professional would need to know before pursuing that career

 

Since it takes 45 minutes to learn about and simulate one (1) career, only one (1) career can be taught each period. If you are interested in having your students try multiple careers, look at our sample schedules above to see which Career Lab event would work best for you. 

Currently we offer:

  • Electrician
  • Finish Carpenter
  • Medical Lab Technician
  • Heath Information Technician
  • Auto Technician (Wheel Balancing)
  • Auto Technician (Advanced Driver Assistance Service)

Yes! Career Labs are reusable and can be used again with each class period.

We provide extra materials and refills for purchase to ensure you have enough for each student.

No, students do not share materials during our Career Lab program. Each student has their own Career Lab set-up during each period in order to effectively try on their career.

In order to schedule our Career Lab program, please this inquiry form so our team can get in touch and send you a quote.

Before completing the form, make sure you can answer these 5 questions:

  1. Event date(s) for program implementation
  2. Preferred schedule (see step 1)
  3. Career choices (see step 2)
  4. Age group of your students/youth (Intermediate vs Advanced)
  5. Number of students/youth participating