Posts Tagged ‘high school’

Resource List for Career Exploration

Friday, January 13th, 2012

How do you get high school students interested in a career in science? It all starts with exposure and image. Traditionally, high school is a time when realistic considerations of one’s future first come into play and related choices are made. Developmentally, the cognitive skills of these students are at an intersection where their current abilities, their sense of achievement and their thoughts about their future all come together. If they do not feel immediately successful at a task, they will often quit or move on to something else. Students at this level are busy establishing their identities, integrating the likes and dislikes of others, and weighing the relevance of outside influences. Ultimately, when they emerge from adolescence, they will be asked to make choices for their futures (e.g., choose a college and declare a major or enter the workforce). It is for this reason that it is so important to provide them with as much information about different job opportunities and exposure to careers in the STEM fields as possible. ATETV is one resource for this. Others include:

Career Cornerstone
The Sloan Career Cornerstone website provides some career information, profiles, video clips and advice on educational pathways to specific STEM Careers.

Careers in Welding
An American Welding Society and National Center for Welding Education & Training (Weld-Ed) web portal that profiles careers, offers fun facts and other information about welding, profiles companies and showcases videos.

Discover Engineering
From the site:”Engineering is not science. Engineers generally don’t “do” science. Science is about discovering the natural. Engineering is creating the artificial.” Tune in to the Discover Engineering Web site to learn what engineering is, read about various careers, try cool engineering activities and watch informational videos.

Dream It. Do It.
Dream It. Do It. is a nationwide effort supported by the National Association of Manufacturers, employers within the manufacturing economy and other groups around the country. Their Web-site offers a career toolkit and videos related to high-tech manufacturing jobs.

Engineer Girl
Aimed primarily at middle school girls, the Engineer Girl Web-site has profiles of women in engineering, discusses what classes should be taken in high school and explores engineering careers for women.

Engineer Your Life
The sister site to Engineer Girl, this site is a guide to engineering specifically geared to high school girls. This site is a place where they can go to read about their dream jobs and meet inspiring women.

Engineering K12 Center (American Society for Engineering Education)
eGFI is proudly brought to you by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). This group is committed to promoting and enhancing efforts to improve K-12 STEM and engineering education. On their site you can find out how to become an engineer, read through college information, and check out spotlights of people working in the field.

Gotta Have IT (National Center for Women & Information Technology)
NCWIT has multiple outreach campaigns and career information including Gotta Have IT is an all-in-one computing resource kit designed with educators’ needs in mind. A select set of high-quality posters, computing and IT careers information, digital media and more, the resource kit builds awareness and inspires interest in computing. Gotta Have IT is for all students, but is especially inclusive for girls.

I-SEEK Careers: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
I-SEEK is Minnesota’s career, education and job resource. Here you will find multiple ways to assess your skills and explore related careers, all the relevant information you will need on planning your education and tips on how to find a job.

Internet Science and Technology Fair
From October through February of each year, student teams apply technology to real-world problems when they participate in the ISTF. They form teams and complete online investigations in science, engineering, and other technical fields. Each team then gets the opportunity to work with a practicing scientist or engineer who acts as the team’s on-line technical advisor. The ultimate goal is that through this experience, the students will become more interested in science careers and understand the innovation process.

An interactive career exploration web site for middle and high school students sponsored by the National Institutes of Health with information on more than 100 medical science and health careers by title, education required, interest area, or median salary. Alternatively, the “Career Finder” can be used to generate a customized list of careers especially suited for users’ skills and interests.

STEM Career
A brokering site that supports STEM advocates by providing information on STEM initiatives, student access, and career readiness.

STEM Career Depot

State-of-the-art career assessment and planning resources for everyone

Texas Instrument Student Zone
Texas Instrument offers STEM career resources for students to explore, STEM degrees, careers, courses, and projects.

The Fun Works
This project is a compilation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career development information for middle school and early high school youth. The goal is to create a comprehensive career development resource that is inviting and engaging the diverse populations of middle and early high school students, that builds on their diverse interests, and draws them into a range of career exploration options and resources.

Virtual Skies
Produced by NASA for use in high schools and flight technology programs, Virtual Skies explores the worlds of aviation technology, air traffic management, and current research.

Vocational Information Center- Manufacturing Career Guide

Explore careers in Manufacturing with the following links to job descriptions, which include information such as daily activities, skill requirements, salary and training required. To learn more about the Manufacturing Industry, follow the related links below the career descriptions section.

Women Tech World
“A national on-line home for women technicians to connect with each other.” For those interested, this site offers information about various technical careers, profiles of current professionals and FAQs for females interested in pursuing STEM careers.

You Can Be Anything
A video and lesson plan using the power of media to give young people, particularly girls and young women, a very positive impression of the career opportunities available in information technology (IT) and science-related fields where technology plays a major role.

Stop Procrastinating!

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

One of the big challenges facing students as they transition from high school to college is how to manage their time and structure their days – and how to avoid the peril of procrastination.

According to most everyone procrastinates at some point. As the website notes , “We put things off, especially things that are boring, lengthy, drudgery or might challenge us in some unexpected or unforeseen way.” Need some help adjusting to a challenging college workload? We selected a few of PsychCentral’s “10 Tips for Getting It Done Today.”

  1. Complete small tasks quickly rather than postponing them. The sense of accomplishment you get from successfully finishing the small assignment will help encourage you to take on larger and more complicated tasks.
  2. When you get to the larger, more complex tasks, break them down into smaller, more manageable parts. If you’re writing a lengthy paper, for example, compose just one section at a time. As PsychCentral points out, by breaking things into more digestible parts, you’re setting smaller, more realistic milestones. For example, writing a paper might have 5 or 6 milestones: selecting a topic; researching the topic; organizing notes into a paper outline; writing a rough draft; asking a friend to review what you’ve written; writing a final draft. Set a due date for each of these separate tasks to help stay on track and work backwards from your due date so that you’ll know where you stand each day and each week.
  3. Identify your best time of day to do your work– everyone has a “peak performance” time, whether it’s early morning, mid-day or later at night. Then start with the assignments that are the most boring and/or challenging. You’ll have more energy for the tougher tasks when you’re feeling refreshed.
  4. Treat school as if it were a job, and aim to accomplish your assignments and tasks within a set time frame, just as you would in the workplace.
  5. Stay organized. Keep all school-related materials organized and in one place and use some type of system for each class to keep track of the syllabus, class notes, handouts, etc. Locate a space in your home or room where you will keep all school-related items – notebooks, textbooks, research articles, equipment, etc. and create a way to keep track of all paper, whether it’s a 3-ring binder or file folders stored collectively in a single file box.

If you’re prone to procrastination, a daily to-do list, whether on paper or on an electronic device, can help you stay on track. At the start of every day, review the full day’s list of tasks, and also look at what lies ahead for the rest of the week. Be sure to keep your to-do list updated, crossing off the tasks that are completed and adding new things that need to be finished. Check out some of the many time management apps that are available, such as My Homework.

Remember, there’s no time like the present. “You will be no better motivated in the future than you are right now, at this very moment,” notes PsychCentral. Don’t wait to start an assignment until you’re “in the right mood – sometimes you have to do something even when you don’t feel like it, just to get it done.

Check out PsychCentral for more ideas to help you get organized and manage your time. And to learn about other apps that can make college life easier, check out these selections from the editors of

How to Get the Most Out of Your Study Time

Sunday, October 16th, 2011


Clear a quiet work space. Stick to a regimented homework schedule. Set clear boundaries.

Those are some of the “tried-and-true” recommendations for studying, but they may not be best for everyone. As the New York Times has reported, “In recent years, cognitive scientists have shown that a few simple techniques can reliably improve what matters most: how much a student learns from studying.”

Here are four of the techniques that NY Times psychology writer Benedict Carey gleaned from this recent educational research into study habits – you might be surprised at what he found.

Get a change of scenery. While it may seem like staying in one place will help you to concentrate, researchers have found that alternating the rooms where you are studying can actually help you retain more information. “If you move around and study the same material in several places, [your brain] may be forming multiple associations,” writes Carey. This, he says, helps anchor the new information so that it’s easier to remember when you need it.

Alternate the content you are studying. Just as in physical exercise, “cross training” is also good for your brain. While a fitness trainer might suggest you alternate strength training, speed training and drills, you could adapt this idea to studying. Researchers examined math students who studied repeated examples of one equation before moving on to the next equation, and compared them to students who studied “mixed problem sets,” which included examples of four different types of equations grouped together. They found that the students who had used the “mixed set” study method retained more information when tested the following day.

As University of South Florida researcher Dr. Doug Rohrer told the NY Times, “When students see a list of problems, all of the same kind, they know the strategy to use before they even read the problem. That’s like riding a bike with training wheels.” He adds that with “mixed practice,” each problem is distinct from the last one, which means that students need to learn how to choose the appropriate procedure, just as they would have to do on a test.

Avoid the urge to cram. Staying up all night to study for a test might help you pass an exam, but it won’t help you remember the material later on. As Carey notes, it’s like trying to cram too much, too quickly into a cheap suitcase – while it may stay intact for a little while, the contents inevitably fall out.

You’ll get more out of your studies if you pack your “brain suitcase” slowly and carefully. An hour of study one night, an hour over the weekend, another study session the following week will help you better retain the information – and keep the suitcase packed for your whole trip. And don’t forget the importance of sleep. Research has consistently shown that a good night’s rest helps the brain consolidate and process new information.

Stay Tuned: It’s Never Too Early to Get Started

Monday, August 8th, 2011

It’s never too early to start thinking about college and in the new fall season, ATETV will focus on some of the programs and preparations that can help high-school students start paving their way to a successful college experience.

The “From High School to College” series will provide viewers with firsthand accounts from students, teachers and guidance counselors. Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

Dual-enrollment programs. Did you know that many community colleges offer students the opportunity to take classes while they’re still in high school? Dual enrollment provides a head start on earning credit hours and getting a taste of college life, and ATETV will talk with students and their teachers at various high schools about the experience. In one video for example, we’ll visit a college-level Web Design class where students are simultaneously earning high-school and college credits. We’ll also share resources and information to help viewers learn about dual enrollment opportunities in their communities.

Making the transition.
ATETV will also visit programs like one community college “bridge” program that is helping students make the transition from high-school to college – and preparing them for success in technology and STEM fields. Through the videos and blogs, we’ll also share tips and ideas with students and their families to help with the college-preparation process: where to go for background materials, suggestions for informational interviews and ways that students can start developing the skills and habits that colleges – and employers – value and expect.

Stay tuned – a new season is just around the corner!

ATETV Episode 29:Alternative Paths to a Technical Career

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

This week, we look at alternative programs at community colleges that help high school students to get a head start on their studies — and others that are providing individuals with the opportunity to make career changes later in life.

In our first segment, we look at dual-enrollment programs, which enable high school students to earn college credits. Michael Bucklew, a student at Stark State College studying Electromechanical Engineering, took advantage of this option.

“I took a lot of my core classes while in high school,” explains Michael. “Through the early college program…I took a class learning about different types of energy, and thought it was interesting.” This early exposure helped Michael decide to pursue studies in Fuel Cell Technology at Stark State. “My dad’s an electrician, and he taught me how to enjoy working with my hands, how to build things and take them apart.” At Stark State, Michael is similarly learning the mechanics that lie beneath fuel cell technologies — by taking things apart and putting them back together.

“I would [eventually ] like to see myself working for NASA,” says Michael. And starting with Stark State’s dual enrollment program, Michael has taken his first step on a career path in Space Aeronautics.

In our second segment, we meet student Howard Drucker who, after 35 years running his own company, decided to forge a new career path — with the help of Sinclair Community College.

“I’m 58 years old, studying Architectural Technology and planning a second career,” explains Howard. “My friends were very impressed because quite honestly, they couldn’t believe that at my age I would go back to school. They didn’t think I could do it.”

Howard has not only proved his friends wrong, he’s found a whole new source of inspiration in his classmates at Sinclair. “I found my experience with the younger students very enjoyable. They’re bright, young, excited about getting started.”

Finally, in segment three, we look at a program that helps students find their way — literally and figuratively!

The Geographic Information Systems Technology Implementation Project courses at Del Mar College provides students with opportunities to learn the many applications of GIS and Geospatial Technologies.

” [Students studying GIS] can look at a wide variety of career possibilities,” explains Del Mar’s J.J. Nelson. “Agra, marine sciences, marketing, sales, law enforcement, communications — there’s a geospatial application to [all of these].”

And besides offering a multitude of industry choices, GIS also provides students with options in terms of the type of work environment they would like — whether it be indoors or outdoors, in front of a computer or at a park or a ball field. “When people need to know where things are in a world that’s getting smaller, geospatial technologies and GIS are the way to go,” says J.J.

No matter the course you decide to take, ATE centers can help point you in the right direction. And as this episode has shown, there’s more than one route to your final destination.

Starting Early: Bringing Biotech to High Schools

Monday, December 21st, 2009

One of the hottest tech fields right now is biotechnology, especially around San Diego. The need for trained technicians is so great, in fact, that the biotechnology program at nearby Southwestern College (SWC) has begun reaching out to area high schools to bring more young people into the field.

We reached out to Nouna Bakhiet, head of SWC’s biotechnology program and an ATETV advisor, for more details — and for some tips for educators looking to do something similar.

How did the program get started?

The collaboration started when an SWC counselor began working with the principal at nearby Eastlake High School; it then expanded to include two other schools in the Sweetwater Union High School District. SWC collaborated with all three schools and the district superintendent when making its grant application for the program.

How does the program work?

One secret to the program’s success has been the close interaction between college and high school teachers. “The teachers complete a summer workshop to prepare for receiving the outreach in their classrooms,” explains Bakhiet. “SWC Biotechnology Program participants act as teaching assistants to the high school teachers during outreach. SWC college faculty supervise the outreach.”

As for designing the curriculum, Bakhiet says the trick is knowing the existing guidelines and working within them. “There are already in place high school course standards that are aligned with college requirements,” she explains. “We researched these high school standards requirements and designed the outreach activities accordingly. The rigor of the college program remains unchanged.”

And because the SWC biotechnology program has several different tracks, it has been able to accommodate students of varying levels without having to make major changes to its courses.

How is it funded?

SWC’s program is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Biotechnology Education and Training Sequence Investment (BETSI) Project. Additional funding to provide equipment to the high schools has come from federal Perkins grants, and from private philanthropy from the LIPP Foundation.

The program is also exploring other innovative funding models. “Starting in 2010, SWC will launch a not-for-profit, student-run business initiative to sustain the BETSI outreach model,” says Bakhiet.

While the NSF remains the single best source of funding for programs of this kind, Bakhiet also notes that special sources of funding are available for historically black institutions and for schools serving hispanic population. “Bio-Link is an excellent source for funding information.”

Has the program succeeded in attracting students to biotechnology?

Yes, and Bakhiet points to the student success stories on SWC’s Web site to prove it. Among them is Marina Watanabe, who has been featured previously on ATETV. Other SWC alums include April Weissmiller, now a graduate student at Stanford; Alberto Rodriguez, who collaborated on a paper published in the science journal Nature; and Amber Perry, who works for Cibus Global, a firm that engineers environmentally friendly crops strains.

What practical advice does Bakhiet have for starting one of these programs?

Start early. “Allocate about one year to research the needs of the region,” Bakhiet advises. She also suggests engaging an experienced grant writer when seeking funding for a collaboration, and to allow three to six months to complete a proposal.

Bakhiet also suggests educators look into serving on the committee of a grant-making institution before applying, so as to observe the process and see what works and what doesn’t.

Educators interested in biotechnology outreach to high schools, and in setting up internships for biotech graduates, should check out the BETSI program model online.

Thanks so much to Nouna Bakhiet for her help this week!