When many of us were growing up and considering that tough question during the junior or senior year of high school, “What do you want to study in college,” the options set before us would fit on an 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper. Careers were limited and the pathways to obtain these goals even more limited in the past. Times have changed dramatically and students sitting in our classrooms are facing new choices and multiple pathways to achieve their dreams. 65% of jobs our students will have don’t even exist today (U.S. Department of Labor, 2013). To help you support students we have gathered FOUR sets of career resources to help students envision the possibilities and prepare them for whatever their futures bring.
Ignite My Future
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, there will be 1 million more computer science-related jobs than graduating students qualified to fill them. A critical misconception in education is that computer science is the same as coding. Coding is one piece of the computer science world, but we often forget computational thinking, network design and management, and software development. Ignite My Future in School provides a comprehensive set of resources seamlessly integrating the principles of computational thinking across the curriculum. Just the same as with all content, computer science needs to be taught within context in order that students develop an enduring understanding as well as the insight into the “why” behind learning.
Check out standards-based lessons tying computational thinking to music, sports, cooking, and more at: https://www.ignitemyfutureinschool.org
The Mars Generation
Ever dream of exploring the Moon? Or Mars? Space may not be the final frontier, but it definitely is the next frontier! With space-fever not being at the same level as it was 4-5 decades ago, educators need to help inspire the next generation of explorers. The Mars Generation was created by @AstronautAbby to inspire the current generation to reach for the stars. “EVER since we first began exploring space, every generation has had a craft to transport their dreams into space. We have seen the Apollo Era, the Shuttle Era, and now we are ready to see the Orion Era.”
Students can become Space Ambassadors, apply for scholarships to U.S. Space Camp, or become an advocate for space exploration at: http://www.themarsgeneration.org
Cancer is a disease that seemingly has touched almost every family in America. This complex issue is so important but often is never addressed in school. STEM is not just about skills, but about dispositions which need to be developed. Unfortunately, many times it feels as if we are unable to stop teaching standards-based content to cover content students won’t be “tested” on. The Val Skinner Foundation felt it was critical to develop resources tied directly to Next Generation Science Standards to support instruction about the basics of cancer and genetics, how to talk about cancer with those affected, as well as virtual labs and lessons about the science of this disease on the brink of a cure.
Dig into a virtual lab or explore career vignettes tied to cancer research, treatment, and psychology within the site: https://www.decodingcancer.org/
STEM Career Challenges
Content needs to be engaged within the context of the real world. To support the move away from random acts of STEM to contextual learning, we have developed STEM Career Challenges to give purpose and tie careers to those quick engineering challenges. This month we feature two exciting challenges which tie to careers that will be used in many industries and require STEM skills for success.
Mining Engineer: http://bit.ly/MiningEngineer
Robotics Engineer: http://bit.ly/RobotEngineer
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