Encompassing Atlanta, Columbus, Athens, Macon, and other urban centers, the Piedmont is the most populous and second largest geographic region in Georgia. With several Fortune 500 companies based in the Piedmont—such as The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Airlines, and The Home Depot—manufacturing and technology are of primary commercial importance.. Due to its rich soil, agriculture is a significant enterprise in the more rural areas of the region.
We travel to Pine Mountain to spin the Fast Forward “Wheel of Information,” where we get all the news on Callaway Gardens and how it came to be. Thanks to the experts, including the manager of the Day Butterfly Center, we get a peek into the fields of zoology and entomology and learn more about butterflies than we ever thought possible. Please take our word for it. Some of it is frass-related. We warned you!
Located in Atlanta, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is probably the most recognized health institution in the world. It’s also one of Georgia’s biggest employers! Along with Teachable Moments about the CDC’s history, and definitions of epidemiology, mutation, and antibiotic resistance, we also learn that you don’t need a doctorate in biology to work here.
Anyone watching the news knows healthcare is an ever-growing industry. So we head down to Macon to visit one of the area’s largest employers: Coliseum Health System, where we learn that you don’t have to be a doctor to be one of their 1,300+ employees! In fact, sometimes a high school education and a certificate or two are all you need to find a great job. On a different "note," we have a sing-along, hear an extremely moving story, and enjoy one of our weirdest Teachable Moments ever!
We pay a visit to the CSX REDI Center in midtown Atlanta, where we talk with the fine folks of CSX about their 3,000 employees scattered around the state. REDI is the acronym for Railroad Education and Development Institute. That’s where most CSX employees come to learn about what it takes to work on the railroad, which also makes it a great place for us to learn more about CSX jobs.
A visit to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta proves to us, and hopefully to our audience, that a simple interest in math and technology can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities. Although we take a fun and loose approach to learning about the Federal Reserve, our Teachable Moments are truly insightful. They include a description of what this institution is and does and a discussion of the gold standard and exactly what gives money its value.
What makes the fabulous Fox Theatre so fabulous? Great question! And that’s just what we ask the folks who work at the Fox. They answer by giving us an exclusive backstage tour, as well as an on-stage tour, and even an under-the-stage tour. And we tell the “theatrical” story as you’d expect—in three acts. By the way, it turns out that part of what makes the Fox so fabulous is their air-conditioning system and their LED lights, both of which we cover in our Teachable Moments.
We take a trip beyond the sea ... to downtown Atlanta and a visit to the Georgia Aquarium. From scuba divers to media specialists to aquarists, we meet everyone who maintains and supports this incredible environment—it takes 600 employees and 2,000 volunteers! And the good news is that you don’t have to work at the Georgia Aquarium to swim here. Anybody can dive in, as you’ll learn in this episode.
To help find the best STEM-related jobs in the state, we get a little help from Georgia’s top investigative unit—the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. We take an old-school detective approach and discover Teachable Moments on DNA and latent prints. And we even learn what it takes to turn a former cheerleader into a crime scene investigator. Case closed!
There’s a lot to know about Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Sure, it’s the busiest airport in the world. And yes, it’s within a two-hour flight of 80% of the U.S. population. But perhaps the most important characteristic of this “airport city” is that it’s the biggest employer in the state with 58,000 jobs!
Jittery Joe's is a rapidly growing coffee chain based in Athens, and we get to explore their world via the fast-growing field of food science. We interview Roaster Master Charlie Mustard and learn the intricacies of what goes into making a great cup of “joe." It turns out there’s a lot of math and science behind it. So Teachable Moments focus on where coffee is grown, how huge this industry really is, and exactly how caffeine affects the body.
Fast Forward travels to the west side of the state to clear up some misconceptions about modern factories. We visit KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point. This state-of-the-art facility rolls out one new car every minute, and we show the entire process—from steel coils all the way to the test track. And while we’re here, we learn who really runs the world (hint: it’s not the “cool kids”).
The “secret” to what makes the King of Pops pops so delicious isn’t actually a secret at all, as you’ll see in this episode. But the folks at this Atlanta-based company do put a lot of love into making their delicious treats. The owners themselves will give you the backstory of how King of Pops came to be, and why they have “fans” instead of customers. And if you’re looking for a career that utilizes social media, these folks have that covered too!
Who says physics can’t be fun? They can be very entertaining when you use them to go zip lining. And that’s what we do at North Georgia Canopy Tours in Lula. Of course, we go zip lining with a focus on physics and environmental education. That means getting employees to explain how Sir Isaac Newton’s basic laws influence their jobs. Teachable Moments include explanations of Newton's First Law of Motion, friction, and watersheds.
There are big things coming out of the little town of Senoia—like the most popular TV show in the history of cable, for example. That’s right, it’s shot at Raleigh Studios, about an hour’s drive south of Atlanta. We go behind the scenes and talk with the experts about what it takes to create the fictional world of The Walking Dead.
There’s a man working at Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell who claims to have the best job in North America. Who could pass up an opportunity to find out why? Not us! And it turns out there are a lot of amazing jobs at this place. For example, they actually have jobs riding rides! And if you want to set yourself up for a job like this, it will help to learn some science. You’ll find out why. Oh, and we’ll ride a coaster or two too!
We take our search for Georgia STEM careers to Carrollton with a visit to Southwire, the largest manufacturer of wire and cable in North America. Here we cover the types of careers available at Southwire. And we shine a (well-wired) spotlight on Southwire's Engineering Academy for high school students. Teachable Moments include descriptions of electricity and root cause analysis.
If you’ve got an idea for the next great flavor of Coca-Cola but don’t know what to do with it, we’ve got you covered. We visit the world headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company in downtown Atlanta and talk with a few of their nearly 100,000 employees about what it takes to be one of the most recognized brands on the planet. As it turns out, those high school chemistry classes might come in handy.
Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it. Well, Fast Forward does! We interview multiple on-air and off-air Weather Channel employees, showing a variety of opportunities: meteorologists, radio personalities, designers, and IT personnel. This episode also includes a string of weather-related Teachable Moments, such as explanations about dew point and different types of clouds, what actually causes weather, why the "feels like" temperature is different from the actual temperature, the basics of lightning, and more.
Some of television's most popular networks make their home in midtown Atlanta, so Fast Forward goes behind the scenes to find out what makes these networks … work. We learn all about their creative technologies as well as other aspects of multilevel media. Teachable Moments include a description of metadata and an explanation of how understanding gravity is essential for a cartoon animator.