By Jessica Born / February 20, 2020

Preparing the next generation one student at a time

In The Pitsco Experience video, we highlight the role the teacher can and does play in a student’s present-day and future success. We feature four students throughout a brief span of a few years in a teacher’s career and then again in a nod to their futures. This brief cycle in a teacher’s career is meant to reinforce the importance of educators, hands-on education, and the transformation that can happen in a classroom.

So, as you work daily to prepare students for the world they’ll live into – for a world we can’t yet describe – it’s easy to have mixed emotions. What an opportunity! What an obligation! And what’s the best approach for trying to tackle the task? How can you help students navigate through this or inspire them to be and grow into their best, fulfilled selves?

Career Exploration and Preparation in the Classroom

  • Enthusiasm – Be excited and transparent about your desire to help students through this time or help them begin their journey to what they want to be when they grow up by building skills and behaviors that support that goal now. Moods and vibes are contagious. Help them catch the feeling.
  • Encouragement – Traversing the wide world of work can be overwhelming. Remind students you’re one of their biggest fans and that you’re there to support them, connect them with resources, believe in them, and discuss and answer questions they might have. Hands-on opportunities and projects enable students to build confidence in their knowledge and skills.
  • Exposure – Provide ample opportunity for students to learn about a wide variety of jobs, professions, and fields. Invite professionals and skilled workers from local industries and businesses to share their work with your class. Host Skype sessions with professionals not present in the area.
  • Education – Expand on what students already know. Provide relevant activities and assignments for students to start connecting with different professions in a simulated or small-scale way such as hands-on activities. Create projects through which students research professions and share what they learn in their own words.
  • Exploration – Extend students‘ awareness to a deeper level. Set up whole- or partial-class or small group tours and job shadows at local businesses if possible. Have them complete quick social media and Internet searches to gain a better understanding of the roles and positions in those fields.

Enhanced Teacher’s Guides for Future Growth 

We recently released nine enhanced teacher guides that correspond with nine of our most popular hands-on, minds-on products. These guides include STEM activities, pretests and posttests, video links, career information, and applications of the 4Cs (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity). You can download them for FREE!

Check out our enhanced teacher guides and some potential careers for your students to glimpse. 

  • Straw Rockets Teacher’s Guide – Students could consider careers such as aerospace engineering, assembly technicians, mechanical engineering, avionics technicians, astronauts, physicists, or mathematicians.
  • Solar Vehicles Teacher’s Guide – Activities in this guide could be associated with the larger field of solar and alternative or sustainable energy. Students could consider careers such as solar photovoltaic installers, solar energy systems engineers, solar sales, green marketers, power distributors and dispatchers, or electrical engineers.
  • Hot-Air Balloons Teacher’s Guide – Students might pursue aerospace engineering and consider careers such as operations technicians, aviation inspectors, transportation managers, or secondary teachers.
  • Toothpick Bridges Teacher’s Guide – Students could explore careers as civil engineers, structural iron or steel workers, construction managers or crew members, construction or building inspectors, bridge and lock tenders, or rough carpenters.
  • Water Rockets Teacher’s Guide – Students could consider aerospace engineering and careers as operations technicians, assembly technicians, mechanical engineering technicians, structural metal fabricators and fitters, avionic technicians, astronauts, or mathematicians.
  • Wind Energy Teacher’s Guide – Activities in this guide could be associated with the larger field of sustainable energy. Students could consider careers as mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, computer programmers, atmospheric scientists, or construction laborers.
  • Balsa Bridges Teacher’s Guide – Students could consider career opportunities such as civil engineers, civil engineering technicians, dredge operators, cost estimators, mechanical drafters, transportation managers, architects, or engineering managers.
  • Egg-Drop Vehicles Teacher’s Guide – Students could consider opportunities for careers as commercial and industrial designers, industrial engineers or engineering technicians, mechanical engineers or engineering technicians, or mechanical drafters.
  • Solid-Fuel Rockets Teacher’s Guide – Activities related to solid-fuel rockets are a part of the aerospace field. Students could consider careers as aerospace engineering and operations technicians; aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers; aircraft mechanics and service technicians; machinists; materials engineers; or physicists.
We also have a robust K-12 coding and robotics continuum that complements and facilitates so many of the foundational skills these kits foster. No matter the path your students explore, your work matters. The impact of an educator is undeniable. The value of hands-on, minds-on learning is proven. Combining all of these pieces is the magic.

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TOPICS: IN THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Teacher Resources, STEM, Resources, Engineering, Teacher Development, STEM Units, Activities, Career Expeditions, Future Ready, Hands-on Learning, STEAM, Workforce Development, Inquiry-based Learning

Jessica Born

Written by Jessica Born

Well, hey there! I’m the digital marketing manager for Pitsco Education. Marketing and special events have been my jam for about the last decade. I’m an alumna of Kansas State University and the University of Arkansas. I fill my Pitsco days with social media management and supporting video and web projects. My weekends are for time in the kitchen, real estate and home projects, and adventuring with my husband and our Dood, Garth. The best part of my role here is getting to bring creativity and organization to our efforts to connect with YOU!