Field Trips – They’re not just for students anymore!

What’s that you say?  You’re tired of students having all the fun?  Well, I have a solution for that.

I’m excited to be able to share with you some of the cool things I hope you will be able to take advantage of over the course of this 2015-16 school year.  But before I do that, let me take a brief moment to introduce myself and my role.  My name is Eric Kelliher, and in late August, I took over the position of Career Readiness Consultant for the ISD.

For those who don’t know what a Career Readiness Consultant does, let me explain.  My role, in a nutshell, is to help connect great educators to local businesses and industries, as well the work force at large.  Whether it be coordinating field trips to various companies around Kent County to see them in action, bringing in guest speakers to share their experiences, expertise and career path story with your students, or assisting you in developing curriculum around the skills employers say are critical for tomorrow’s jobs, my goal is to help you, as educators, get what you need to help our students make the connection between the classrooms of today and the careers of tomorrow.  With a personal background that has taken me from education to the business realm and now back again, I can definitely attest to the importance of these connections.

Throughout the school year I’ll be providing you with a variety of ways to connect with employers, explore ways to integrate new ideas and concepts into your instruction and discuss ways you can help your students achieve career readiness as you send them out into the world.  So, be on the lookout for some of the exciting things we will provide throughout the year as we seek to help you equip your students for the road ahead.

Leave a note in the comment section.  Or, you can reach me at  I look forward to connecting!


Unique Opportunity To Use a Drone in Your Classroom

Your students have a unique opportunity to program, and fly an unmanned aerial vehicle. With applications in many classroom content areas and business sectors- you need to check this out! Students around the county have leveraged this piece of grant-funded (thank you STEM Hub) technology for several uses. Biology classes have been able to scan a standing forest canopy for forest health to compare with their on the ground measurements. Earth Science classes took atmospheric pressure and temperature measurements by carrying their instruments aloft. Elementary science classes engineered a cargo carrying device to help them count and move base-10 blocks. Middle school science classes were able to scan the watershed around their school to determine the impact of water runoff. Several computer science classes have worked to program the device for autonomous flight.

As the Kent ISD STEM consultant overseeing this program, I have to say I have an absolute blast working with teachers to implement this burgeoning technology into their curriculum! Get a hold of me, and let’s do some great work!



Ebiri Nkugba

STEM Consultant
Kent Intermediate School District
Google Community

Kent Intermediate School District
35013.3 NM from VIO (H) VORW/DME 115.95


Tracking Survivors of natural disasters

This article is a great resource for graphics, maps and data to use in social studies, science, history and math classes. The ability to collect and analyze data is growing at a tremendous rate. How will we make the best use of this information?  A decade after Hurricane Katrina can we say the victims of this disaster were properly cared for? Geographic Information Systems allow scientist and engineers get answers to these questions. Having student view, discuss and analyze this information is a great opportunity and reflects work done by real professionals. Read more at: 8 maps of Displacement

How can a job shadow help me choose a future? The application window for Fall Explorers is now open!

The Kent ISD Explorers program is a fun way to help you figure out what you want to be when you grow up.  Or maybe even on the flip side, you’ll learn what you don’t want to be when you’re older.  Explorers is an after-school program where you get to hang out with someone pretty cool people once a week for a few hours for a couple of weeks.  Mentors work in the job or industry that you think you might be right for you as a future career; you’ll get to see what happens behind the scenes in real time, ask all the questions you want and learn what pathway your mentor took to achieve their current job.  Our partner mentors are beyond amazing – they care about what you want to be and are pulling back the curtain so you can see what happens in all of these buildings throughout Kent County.  To learn more about Explorers, click here.  Applications for the Explorers program is open now – October 15th.

Artiflex is opening their doors to educators and students on October 1st!

Dear Educator:

I am writing to invite you to attend a local open house at ArtiFlex to showcase the rewarding, highly skilled jobs for students available in manufacturing. Students of all ages are welcome to engage and participate in our open house and tour. Manufacturers across the nation, like me, will be participating in Manufacturing Day as sponsors, hosting open houses, public tours, career workshops and other events.

Within our three facilities in Grand Rapids, over one hundred and forty people serve as a stable organization in many different positions that support the tool and die trade.  A livelihood earned within our company walls proves to be a great work life balance for individuals spanning the organization.

Continue reading

Advanced Manufacturing – What’s all the buzz about?

If you read any media publications in Michigan or watch the news you’re likely wondering why the manufacturing industry is garnering is so much attention.  It’s even likely that the industry turns you off a little – having a family member who toiled in dark or dirty conditions to be laid off during the recession or worked for a prestigious company and found the same fate.  Manufacturers learned a few lessons as they fought for survival during the recession and are now experiencing a resurgence – they retooled their employee engagement policies and upgraded their facilities.  And now they are opening the doors for you and your students to come check them out and see what the buzz is all about.

Manufacturing Day is a national movement and many West Michigan employers are participating.  Events are occurring throughout West Michigan from September 28 – October 2, 2015.  Check out the Discover Manufacturing website to learn who is participating and to sign up for a tour.  As an added bonus, they have bus funds available on a first come/first serve basis.   You can’t make it out of the building but would still like to participate, you say?  Discover Manufacturing can arrange to have someone come to your class.  Once you sign up, a member of the planning team will contact you to learn about your goals and begin making arrangements with you.