Fifteen teenagers donned hair nets, shoe covers and lab coats and got busy on the floor at Trilogy Laboratories the morning of Friday, Oct. 2 as part of the Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association’s (SRMA’s) packed schedule of local business tours, shadowing and hands-on experiences in honor of Manufacturer’s Day. The North Fort Myers High School students toured the Fort Myers custom skin care product manufacturing facility, applied their academic studies in chemistry to a lab activity, learned about the science of advanced skin care and got a lesson in product development, testing and packaging.
Trilogy Laboratories founder Dr. Kristen Flaharty drew on her experience as a former pharmacy professor and industry consultant to lead the students through their discoveries. She highlighted manufacturing as a diverse industry with many products and career opportunities represented. The students learned about cosmetic chemistry and the materials handling process from logging in ingredients, testing them for characteristics like viscosity, pH and the presence of microbes, to packaging, labeling and batch coding. A lab activity allowed the kids to produce a custom lip balm, measuring out ingredients, melting wax, stirring in colors and flavors and labeling their creation.
STEM student Sarah Donehew, age 16, said, “I had no idea how much effort goes into making makeup and skin care. There are so many steps.”
Students were impressed to learn that there are manufacturers of all different sizes and descriptions. They also learned about the authority wielded over all industries by various government regulations.
Flaharty said, “Even though we’re a small, custom manufacturer, we have to adhere to the same FDA regulations as the big guys.”
Alexander Berrios, a 15-year-old STEM student, has medical field aspirations, and might like to become a plastic surgeon one day. He said, “I’m amazed at how hard women such as Dr. Flaharty work, and how smart they are.”
Flaharty said, “Manufacturing Day was everything I had hoped it would be. To see these kids connect the dots from science learned in the classroom to applications in an actual career was rewarding to watch. It was especially a privilege to witness that spark of discovery in an atmosphere where they were having so much fun!”
Manufacturing Day is a national day of celebrating modern manufacturing that is meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. The purpose of SRMA is to bring together manufacturers to encourage the economic development of Southwest Florida through manufacturing, and to act as a forum for the expression and exchange of ideas and information among its members. Learn more at srma.net
Trilogy Laboratories was founded in 2014 by Dr. Kristen Flaharty, bringing 20 years of ethical pharmaceutical product development experience. She was the driving force behind the development of the Azul brand of medical grade skin care products for Dr. Patrick Flaharty’s world-class Azul Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Spa. Trilogy Laboratories manufactures highly effective private label skin care products for physicians, medical professionals, salons and spas, using scientifically proven ingredients at therapeutic concentrations. Its manufacturing facility is an entirely self-contained innovative cosmetic and OTC registered production facility, creating and manufacturing some of the highest quality and most effective skin care products in today’s market at competitive prices. Science is at the heart of all products manufactured by Trilogy Laboratories, which enables it to cut through the hype of claims that are not substantiated by science. Visit www.trilogylaboratories.com for more information.