The ability to adapt as things change is not part of the education system in America, Katrina Stevens, director of learning science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Matt Greenfield, managing partner of Rethink Education, wrote in a recent EdSurge article. Yet many careers, from game design to engineering, require the ability to adjust plans as something is built and constructed.

Giving students a chance to test their abilities before leaving school is optimum. Designing a new library space, or building a prosthetic foot for a duck — these are all skills that students can take with them as they work toward a college degree or even a career. Yet having a real-world experience while still in school is not always possible for every student. Some schools lack connections to businesses that can offer expert help, or places outside the classroom where students can observe and learn. That doesn’t mean, however, that students need to be shut out of gathering these skills.

Simulated real-world experiences can also be valuable — from a career day speaker talking during a webcast or a virtual science experiment, such as dissecting a frog through a computer program. A 2010 study, “Simulation-based learning: Just like the real thing” found that simulated-based training can be effective in medical schools, noting, though, that the “key to success in simulation training is integrating it into traditional education programs.”

Read the full article about real-world experiences by Lauren Barack at Education Dive.