Rubik’s Cube Problem Solving

I am writing this post while considering the MDE Early Science Career & College Readiness page at this link.

MDE has published seven statements of belief regarding science and literacy instruction. I am going to list belief # 4 here, see the link above for the rest:

  • “Involvement in investigation of natural phenomena and complex problems is important for ALL students.”

I agree with all of the seven statements, but I think they might be readily achieved through statement # 4. We at Kent ISD have defined STEM education as, “The integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to solve real-world industry problems.”

I liken business problems to a Rubik’s cube. Remember those? When I look at the problems that today’s businesses are solving; and hiring people to solve, they involve multiple disciplinary thinking. See my video description of this. Perhaps one would utilize their mathematics skills to work the problem, then begin leveraging their communication skills, then perhaps their research skills, then maybe several skills together. Early exposure to real world problems allow students to grow, I think, into the type of employees, employers, and indeed the type of people we want and need to move our society forward.

-EN

Music Therapy Career Day Oct. 27

Interested in learning more about music therapy? Attend this two hour event to gain an overview of the field of music therapy, observe live and video examples of music therapy interventions in various settings, and learn how to get started on your path to becoming a music therapist. The event will be held at Butterworth Hospital’s East Auditorium on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 2-4 pm. To register contact Bridget Sova at Bridget.Sova@helendevoschildrens.org.

Construction Scholarships Available

The Human Resources Construction Council (HRCC) and BYF are now accepting applications for the 2016 HRCC Scholarship.

The scholarship is open to anyone planning to attend or currently attending a technical school or approved craft training program. High school seniors, military service members, veterans and postsecondary students are all encouraged to apply.

SCHOLARSHIP DETAILS

Scholarships are valued at $500 a year for each recipient and can be renewed annually. Recipients will be notified in December, and awards will be dispersed soon after. See scholarship criteria here.

Apply here.

Application Deadline: November 4, 2016

Counselors with a Dream – The GHHS Empowerment Center

The counseling team at Godwin Heights High School participated in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) training program during the 2015-16 school year that resonated with them significantly and manifested a dream.  Kristi Bonilla and Tish Stevenson would like to create an Empowerment Center at GHHS.  The center will be adjacent to the counseling office and allow the counseling staff to accomplish several goals:

  • Create a space for students to explore their innate strengths, identify their passions and create a plan for their future with a willing adult nearby with the expertise to guide them through the process of future visioning.
  • Allow the team to host employers and post-secondary institutions on campus on a regular basis since the center will be located within their physical space. They are even envisioning Lunch & Learn events.
  • Create an environment where students can practice mindfulness and behavior modification during times of stress and anxiety – two 21st century soft skills that are highly sought after in today’s workplace.
  • Allow the team greater flexibility to invite parents in to participate in their child’s education – the Empowerment Center will offer before/after school hours so parents can actively be involved with career, college and life planning.
  • Create an open space with computer, internet and print capabilities where students and their families can complete resumes, college applications, etc.

The GHHS team needs the help of the community to make the GHHS Empowerment Center a reality!  Please let Kristi and Tish know if your organization has grants available to make this dream a reality or if you know of an organization that can assist in this incredible endeavor.  The team is seeking physical or monetary donations for:

  • Comfortable seating
  • High top / low top tables
  • Tables
  • Adjustable lighting
  • Coffee bar
  • iPad’s
  • Yoga mats
  • Mindfulness toys

Celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month

ACTE invites you to participate in the ACTE National Security Agency (NSA) Day of Cyber on Oct. 20. In an effort to inspire students to pursue STEM fields that will connect them to in demand cyber-related careers, we hope you will register to be one of the highlighted schools on the ACTE NSA Day of Cyber Dashboard by Oct. 20 and to take part in this online cyber-security awareness experience.

Click here to watch a short video that PREVIEWS THE EVENT.

How prepared ARE your students for the world of work?

If you were to ask your students how prepared they are for what comes next after graduation (as far as work and continuing education goes), what would they say? Would they say they’re ready for any challenge that comes their way? Will they be able to accurately self-assess and identify their key strengths as well as those weaknesses they still need to shore up? Or, despite your best efforts, will they have an inflated, unrealistic view of themselves and their abilities?

If you fear the latter, you’re likely not alone. And, apparently, that doesn’t change for those students who go on to some form of higher education. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) asked employers and students alike some targeted questions regarding their perception towards their level of preparedness. The results might cause a startling reality check for those students who dare to take a close look. To find out more, check out the following article from Inside Higher Ed: Well-Prepared in Their Own Eyes.

“When it comes to the types of skills and knowledge that employers feel are most important to workplace success, large majorities of employers do NOT feel that recent college graduates are well prepared.”

– AACU Report quoted in Inside Higher Ed article Well-Prepared in Their Own Eyes

So, what can be done about this? Do we continue to assume colleges and universities will teach the skills employers say are lacking? Or do we, as K-12 educators find ways to implement those difficult to quantify – yet imperative to possess – skills employers demand, providing our students a “leg up” on those who do not possess the same skills? And, how do we actually do that?

One way is to expose students to jobs/careers, by taking them out on industry tours or having them do internships and job shadowing of their own. Having them watch what skills (including soft skills) jobs require will go a long way to helping them understand the need to learn them now.

Another way is to weave soft skill development directly into instruction – regardless of the subject matter you’re teaching. The Career Readiness department is currently creating lessons centered around soft skill development, and you can adapt any and all lessons to fit what works best for your classroom.

Finally, you can join the Career Readiness Network, to hear about all the opportunities for students and PD for yourself. Meet with like-minded teachers and counselors who want to blend curriculum with career-preparation. Share ideas and best practices. And hear directly from industry professionals themselves the skills they require of their employees.

To find ways you can incorporate more career readiness into your curriculum, reach out to us by commenting on this article, or emailing us at careerreadiness@kentisd.org.