Summer learning is important!

There are many wonderful opportunities for students in Kent County to extend their understandings and learn more about their own capabilities. Below you will find a listing of camps (BIG list linked at the very bottom) that ALL students can engage with. Please feel free to share this post with the parents and students in your circles, let’s keep those brains moving in the warm summer months ahead.

Graphic Identifier

DC2 (Design. Discover. Collaborate. Create)
June 27-28 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

Grand Valley University (Seidman Building – Downtown Campus)


COST: $25 per student

Led by at team of local K -12 educators, students will work in small groups to collaboratively tackle problems that connect to both their lives and the world around them, answering questions like:

  • How might we redesign our recess experience?
  • How might we re-purpose scrap material from a local manufacturer?
  • How might we re-engineer a classroom to better meet our needs as students?

The camp will also include local mentors from industry and high school student coaches. There will be opportunities for students to engineer solutions in a ‘maker’s space’ as they prototype and test their ideas. This is a great way for kids to stretch their thinking muscles this summer in a fun, collaborative, creative way as they harness the innovator within them. Visit this page to see a flyer and  this page to learn more/register!


July 10-13, 8:30 AM-3:30 PM

Kent Innovation High School (1655 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525)


COST: $100 per student – scholarships available.

Camp Infinity is a four day summer technology camp for girls entering 5th to 8th grade that introduces technology as fun and fulfilling and inspires the pursuit of technology education. MCWT Foundation created it to address the primary reasons girls lose interest in technology: confidence, social relevance, and social (peer) acceptance. Visit this page for more information!



Finally, for a listing of MANY other summer learning opportunities in our area, visit this link.

Build your professional network with mini job shadows

The hardest part of getting a job can often be getting in the door. Often job seekers lament that they submit resume after resume and never receive call backs or interview offers. Although an incomplete resume or lacking credentials can be to blame, many resumes get lost in the shuffle, simply because there is nothing on the page that makes it jump out from the rest of the pile. One way to counteract this struggle is to build a professional network of individuals who can act as mentors and advocates when jobs are available. These professional mentors can offer advice on which type of skills to highlight in a resume, offer insider advice on what the job entails and even make recommendations to the recruiting team to fast track an interview opportunity.

Does building a network seem like a difficult task? Don’t be intimidated! The Kent ISD Career Readiness team has connected with several employers to offer 1.5-hour job shadows in the industries and positions of your choice this Spring through our Explorer Program. These short experiences around Kent County offer students a fantastic opportunity to build the relationships and connections that could become significant as their skills and career journeys progress.

We have two EXPLORER sessions offered this spring, March 1 and May 3. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the event which runs from 3:30-5:00 each afternoon. Registration is simple and the access to professional mentors is as direct as it gets!

Check out the registration page for more information and to see the roles that are available.


Get Ready for Groundhog Shadow Day 2017!

Kent ISD’s Career Readiness Department is excited to announce that the student registration for Groundhog Shadow Day 2017 opens on December 1. Groundhog Shadow Day is modeled after ‘Take your child to work day’, except we have recruited mentors from all around Kent County who are excited to show off their industries to OTHER people’s children! This program will run on February 2, from 9:00AM-2:00PM and will be open to all Kent County students grades 9-12.

The goal of Groundhog Shadow Day is to give students an opportunity to explore their future career by meeting with mentors currently employed in a field that interests them and supplement the learning that happens at school with real world relevancy.

Local employers have very generously offered nearly 700 opportunities for students to shadow this year on February 2. As you might imagine, there is truly something for everyone.

Here are a few highlights of the awesome offerings that will be available for students to February 2, 2017:

  • Merchandise Manager at Meijer Corporate
  • Industrial Designer at Steelcase
  • CEO of Priority Health
  • Hands on simulations at Spectrum Health Meijer Heart Center
  • Special Event Planner at Amway
  • Project Manager at Erhardt Construction
  • Development Director at WGVU Public Media
  • Executive Director at Grand Rapids Ballet
  • Pastor at Central Reformed Church
  • Finance & Operations Manager at Open Systems Technology
  • Owner & Physical Therapist at Apogee Therapy Center

Students who engage in this program with an open mind and enthusiasm will undoubtedly find valuable information, connections and experience. Will you help us spread the word?


Please visit our site to see the full list of opportunities and to enroll.

Bring A Student to Work!

We are excited to announce that our Employer registration page for our annual Groundhog Shadow Day is now active! We are hoping to bring in Employer hosts from ALL industries to show off their ‘work world’ to students who are anxious to begin understanding where their own career path will lead.

Will you join us? Click here to learn more and register. Employer registration runs through November 18.

WHEN: February 2, 2017 — 9:00AM-2:00PM




Fashion as Art and Identity

GRAM has some outstanding programming available to educators, and their next session focuses on Fashion and features a powerful voice from industry. Check out the details and registration below.

GRAM educator night: Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion


Date: Thursday, November 10, 2016

Time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Registration Fee: $20

Location: Grand Rapids Art Museum

Register at:



Program Overview

Step onto the runway this fall with an in-depth look at the work of Dutch fashion designer, Iris van Herpen. Cutting-edge designs by van Herpen have been worn by style icons such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Bjork and have electrified the runways of Amsterdam, London, and Paris. She has gained international acclaim for her combination of traditional craftsmanship and futuristic, innovative techniques—including some of the world’s first examples of 3-D-printed fashion. Her visually impressive, sculptural designs often feature unusual materials such as umbrella ribs and synthetic boat rigging.

Iris van Herpen produced her first collection in 2007, shortly after graduating from the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in the Netherlands. Born in the small town of Wamel, she is now based primarily in Amsterdam. In 2012 she became a member of the exclusive Chambre Syndicale de Haute Couture, where her designs regularly appear in biannual Paris runway shows. Van Herpen divides her time between the contained world of her studio, her global network of collaborators, and the international stage of fashion.

Speaking of her artistic philosophy, van Herpen says, “For me fashion is an expression of art that is very closely related to me and to my body. I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods, and cultural setting. Wearing clothing creates an exciting and imperative form of self-expression. ‘Form follows function’ is not a slogan with which I concur. On the contrary, I find that forms complement and change the body and thus the emotion.”

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion features 45 haute couture outfits carefully selected from 15 of van Herpen’s collections designed from 2008 through 2015: 18 pieces from the designer’s most recent lines and a selection of her shoe designs, and 27 pieces from van Herpen’s solo exhibition at the Groninger Museum, Netherlands.



5:00 pm Arrival and Welcome

5:30 pm Fashion as Art and Identity

6:30 pm Private tour of Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion

7:30 pm Reflection and Networkinggram_educator