Students tour Newport News 3D Trailer

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Getting out of a traditional classroom stepping and into a 3D experience.

That's what dozens of juniors and seniors from Danville Public Schools and Pittsylvania County schools got to do today at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

"Many of them don't think about their high school years as their work force training, talent development years, but that's precisely what they're doing," said Dr. Julie Brown, director of advanced learning.

While the trailer might not have videogames or movies, what it does have are examples of how a century old career is changing. Shipbuilding is turning digital.

"Your traditional 2D drawing that you would be carrying all over the place is getting replaced with a tablet and a 3D model," said Brent Woodhouse, Manager of Digital Shipbuilding, Workforce Development.

Which means worker productivity levels increase drastically, but companies like Newport News and their suppliers are always looking for new workers.

"Kinda indecisive on which kind of engineering I want to go into so this is very like swaying, influential," said Jenita Theodore/Senior at Galileo Magnet High School.

While the trailer experience was just an introduction to Theodore and peers, the hope is that it inspires them in their studies.

"They'll go back to their calculus class a little more motivated," said Dr. Brown.

"We really just want them to get excited about manufacturing and stem careers because they're going to be very lucrative, they're going to be stable and with the technology, they're going to be transformative," said Woodhouse.

Newport News has 14 supplier companies in Virginia.