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 our Kits’ small-scale nature to bring meaningful youth career exploration straight to the classroom. You can schedule an interest meeting for our Self/Teacher Facilitation to choose the careers you want, find a date, and implement the Career Lab(s) with students on your own.

Our Available Careers

Every career we highlight offers stable wages, lifelong opportunities for advancements, and are currently in-demand by employers. In a Career Test Drive® Lab experience, students will learn about will have the opportunity to explore their skills and interests while learning about educational and career pathways. Learn about our 5 available Career Test Drive® modules and what students may expect during their experience in a career simulation. 

Automotive Technician (ADAS)
In this simulation, students will troubleshoot the advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) of their client's vehicle using an electrical wiring diagram.
Automotive Technician (Wheel Balance)
In this simulation, students will apply principles of static and dynamic imbalance to balance their client's tire.
Electrician
In this simulation, students will learn the basics of electrical circuits. They will build a simple circuit and install an interrupter to turn a light on!
Medical Lab Technician
In this simulation, students will apply the science of antibodies and antigens to the blood type of four different patients.
Finish Carpenter
In this simulation, students will measure and cut wood to install batten-style wainscotting to elevate the aesthetics of their client's home.
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What Makes the Career Test Drive® Lab Different?

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. 

BridgeYear staff facilitating Career Lab program by helping student complete activity for the Medical Lab Technician simulation.

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

For those located outside the Greater Houston area, our Career Lab program is a Self/Teacher Facilitation that includes 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. Our Self/Teacher Facilitation option is 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

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. Schedule an Initial Call

Schedule an initial call to discuss which careers you want for a Career Test Drive® Lab and the implementation date.

2. Make the Reservation

Once we have had our initial call, you can reserve your Career Test Drive®  Lab date by submitting a purchase order with BridgeYear.

3. BridgeYear Ships Materials

After we have received your purchase order, BridgeYear will prepare the classroom career set materials and have them shipped to you.

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. 

Our Career Test Drive®  Lab costs $2,000. Set-up an interest meeting with evelyn@bridge-year.org to get an exact quote. 

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