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Social Studies Teachers Tie Kia Factory to Lessons on Georgia History

They didn’t get a free car, but a group of Fayette County eighth grade Georgia Social Studies teachers walked away with plenty of great ideas for their classrooms after touring the Kia Motors Manufacturing Plant in West Point, Georgia.


The tour, organized by the Georgia Council on Economic Education, helps teachers connect the Georgia Performance Standards to businesses in the state, making the standards more relevant to students.


After a presentation on why Kia Motors chose to build in Georgia, followed by a brief overview of the company, the teachers toured the facility and saw the efficient process of how state-of-the-art robotic technology and assembly line workers come together to build a car.


A workshop, facilitated by Mike Raymer, program manager for the Georgia Council on Economic Education, helped teachers realize how they can incorporate Kia Motors into classroom instruction by analyzing the role that state and local governments played in bringing the manufacturing plant to Georgia.


Not only did teachers get some new ideas on how to tie their lessons to real life business examples, but they also discussed how Kia uses incentives to promote soft skills taught in schools such as attendance, attention to detail, promptness, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.


“We saw a team presenting their ideas to upper management. There was a small inefficiency in one part of production; the team worked together to problem solve and offer solutions. These are the 21st Century skills that we want our students to learn in Fayette County,” says Becky Ryckeley, social studies coordinator for the school system.


Teachers who participated in the tour and workshop were Lee McDermott, Bennett’s Mill Middle; Jason Candy and David Phillips, Fayette Middle; Patty Hall, Flat Rock Middle; Salli Reese, Sue Mullin, and Susan Adams, J.C. Booth Middle; JoAnn Rouse, Beth Gaskins, Elizabeth McCullough, and Jill Romine, Rising Starr Middle; Lisa Marmon, Dana Zillweger, and Nancy Daniell, Whitewater Middle; Lynn Wallace, Alternative School; Kathy Stowers, Mainstay; and Sam Sweat, assistant superintendent of instruction and operations; and Becky Ryckeley, social studies coordinator.

Fayette’s eighth grade history teachers outside of the Kia Motors factory.

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