“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This is a favorite question for relatives to ask students at the holiday dinner table. It’s a great question – it help Aunt Sue understand which classes a student enjoys, and prompts the student to think about and articulate their plans for the future.
While students are accustomed to sharing career aspirations about jobs they are familiar with – “doctor” “firefighter” and “construction worker” -- students in Pitsco Expeditions labs may have new answers this year. That is because Pitsco is weaving in Career Connections into every Expedition, giving students exposure to exciting careers, and a context for the skills they are learning.
Introducing Junior High students to careers like Product Designers, Entrepreneurs, Materials Tester, Crime Lab Specialist, Chemists, and Architects serves a couple of purposes:
Understanding the “Real World”
When a student starts to think about what they can do after graduation, they start to look at the world around them in a different way – they look through an empowered lens with confidence. They begin to understand the role each career can play in the world around them, and how they would improve that career.
Adds Relevance to Current Lessons
When they can add relevance to an abstract concept, like why understanding math and simple circuits is a building block for a future in electronics or electrical engineering, they start to take the lesson more seriously. Students go from rote memorization to truly understanding a concept and how it applies outside of the classroom.
Students, especially at the middle level, learn so much about themselves through trial and error. Having a hand and “trying out” careers like “Concert Lighting Technicians” broadens their mindset, and helps them consider career paths they may not have previously considered. Let’s face it, we are educating students for careers that haven’t even been invented yet, so building a solid skills foundation, as well as a broad scope is important.
Transcends Economic Factors
Often, a student’s socio-economic background has an effect on the careers they are exposed to. Career connections play an invaluable role in expanding a student’s horizons.
Expeditions by Pitsco Education aim to expand and draw career connections for students. Click below for a complete list of career connections by Expedition.
You tell us: why are Career Connections so important to middle level students? How do you introduce your students to potential career paths?
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