The classrooms where students are in charge

In Sands’ class, students clock in and clock out, just like they would on a factory floor. They rotate through assigned positions—shop foremen, safety coordinators, tool room attendants—all of which have different responsibilities. They fill out performance reviews. They wear uniforms. They run meetings.

“Instead of me telling the students every day what they’re going to do, the day begins with a five- to 10-minute safety meeting and production meeting that the students do,” Sands said. He gives his classes a packet every six weeks, and the students figure out how to complete all their assignments. These days, he only lectures when he has to introduce a concept.

When Byrd heard about Simulated Workplace, he liked the idea of learning how businesses worked and practicing workplace norms, like clocking in. He found it easy to learn the math taught in Sands’ course, where concepts are connected to real-world problems. “I never thought I’d enjoy it as much as I did,” he said.