10 Student Factory Tours for STEM Experiences in the Midwest
These factory tours with 10 prominent companies in the Midwest are ideal for STEM learning field trips and hands-on opportunities
The Midwest is packed with factory tours of just about every kind of manufacturing department or fulfillment center, and students looking to receive incredible STEM experiences are sure to be amazed and inspired while visiting any one of them. With the chance to visit these locations, students will be able to see the engineering and the mechanics of factory assembly lines and production. Take a trip to one of these 10 factories in the Midwest for interactive and hands-on STEM experiences students will never forget.
1. Airstream Factory
Bring your students to the Airstream Factory in Jackson Center, Ohio to walk through a two-hour tour of the factory that creates and assembles the Airstream travel trailers and tour coaches. The Airstream history is richly intertwined with the evolution of travel and comfort, so a visit here is a student tour group must. The tour is free, making it an amazing educational experience and a cost-effective travel choice.
2. Amazon Fulfillment Center
The Amazon Fulfillment Center hosts tours in Jeffersonville, Indiana by showing the process and machinery involved in getting Amazon products and packages from the centers to the customer’s doors. Students will be able to see products arriving from the suppliers to the warehouse, items being selected for each order and orders being packaged and processed to be shipped out.
3. Ford Rouge Factory
With the combination of history and manufacturing, Ford Rouge Factory in Dearborn, Michigan offers a unique view into the creation of one the most-recognized automobile brand’s assembly line. The tour will take students through exciting aspects of creating the Ford vehicle and its components. Student tickets are $10. There should be one adult chaperone per every ten students, and for every ten students signed up the company will provide one free chaperone ticket.
4. Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations
The Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations Factory in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin gives students an inside look at the composition and creation of the engine of a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle through Engines 101. Students will be able to have an irreplaceable and interactive experience exploring what it takes to manufacture and engineer the Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight engine. This experience is sure to be the experience of a lifetime, as it inspires student’s interest in the mechanics behind one of the most iconic motorcycle brands in the market.
5. Honda Heritage Center and Auto Plant Tour
The Honda Heritage Center and Auto Plant Tour in Marysville, Ohio is a free tour option for students grades 7 and higher to see the assembly and manufacturing behind Honda automobiles. Touring the center and the auto plant takes about two-and-a-half hours and gives students the chance to see the hard work put into creating a Honda automobile.
6. John Deere Factory Tours
John Deere Factory Tours are available for students at a few locations within Iowa and Illinois. Factory tours at locations like John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois and the John Deere Tractor Cab Assembly Operations in Waterloo, Iowa offer free admission and require that all guests are at least 13 years old to embark on tours. At the John Deere Harvester Works location in East Moline, Illinois, students will be able to see the manufacturing of combines and the front-end attachments for their harvesting and farming equipment. The John Deere Tractor Cab Assembly Operations in Waterloo, Iowa shows touring students the manufacturing behind John Deere’s famous tractors.
7. Kohler Design Center
The Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wisconsin happily hosts tours available to students age 14 and higher. Tours are about three hours long and there must be an adult chaperone present for every nine students in attendance. The factory tour will give students an inside peek into the creation and manufacturing of Kohler’s leading components such as their tubs, sinks and toilets. They will be able to tour the foundry and the pottery where they will be able to see the casting, pouring, baking and enameling of items in heat up to 2000 degrees.
8. Phoenix Bats Plant Tour
Students will see the process of creating the professional and esteemed Phoenix Bat and learn about the history of the company while partaking in the Phoenix Bats Plant Tour in Plain City, Ohio. The tours are $10 per attendee and offer a STEM factory tour option in combination with one of the United States favorite past times.
9. Toyota Factory Tour
The Toyota Factory Tour in Princeton, Indiana welcomes students to join the hour-long tours of their manufacturing plant. One adult chaperone per 15 people is required for school groups embarking on the Toyota Factory Tour. Students will get to ride on a tram through the facility where they will be able to see the engineers and robotics that help assemble and create the Toyota automobile.
10. Winnebago Industries Visitor Center
The Winnebago Industries Visitors Center in Forest City, Iowa has two factories available for touring: the Lake Mills Assembly Facility and Forest City Facility. The Lake Mills Facility showcases the manufacturing of Winnebago’s Class B Van, and the Forest City Facility tour allows students to take tours of two buildings that showcase the creation of the Winnebago Motorhome’s furniture components and the main production area. Follow up whichever tour you chose by visiting the Winnebago Industries Museum to learn more about the history and brands homed within the company.