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Archive for April, 2012

Jay Que Hales: Huntsman Award Recipient

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Congratulations to Jay Que Hales, Skilled and Technical Sciences Education Teacher and SkillsUSA advisor at Riverton High School, who received the Huntsman Award on April 26, 2012. Jay was one of 11 Utah educators who received this prestigious award.

Jon and Karen Huntsman established the Huntsman Awards in 1993 to recognize, inspire, and reward the best teachers, school administrators, and volunteers in Utah. “Every one of this year’s eleven award recipients stands for excellence. They all exemplify the commitment to teaching which we believe is common among Utah’s top educators. We are proud to recognize eleven of the best and celebrate their gifts of learning, time, and love they bestow upon our children. We are enormously proud of each of them and are grateful that they are willing to work so hard to guide students to recognize their strengths and to rise to their individual potential. We are delighted to honor these eleven who are eminently deserving of our appreciation,” said Jon and Karen Huntsman.

As an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician, Jay has used his automotive knowledge, training, skills, and abilities to inspire students to effectively compete in state competitions. His students have consistently won at the Weber State University Automotive Competition, the SkillsUSA Competition, and at the Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition. Just last week, two of his students, Jordan Kearns and Chandler Adkins, took first place in the Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition held at Salt Lake Community College. Both students now advance to the national competition to be held at Ford Motor Company Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan on June 10-12, 2012.

Jay’s dedication, drive, and enthusiasm has challenged and motivated his automotive students to work hard, to be responsible, and to develop a good work ethic as they competed in each competition and prepared for life after high school—college and career.

“This is a wonderful thing to happen to Jay. I’m so very excited for him. I have watched the hard work he has put in over the past several years and Jay is very deserving of this honor,” said Dave Milliken, Skilled and Technical Sciences Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education.

Jay is well deserving of the Huntsman Award and Utah is fortunate to have him as an educator inspiring students every day. Jay and the ten other award recipients will be honored at a banquet on Friday, May 11, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Related articles:
Deseret News

Communication Skills—A Career and Technical Education Specialty

Monday, April 30th, 2012

By Gary Wixom
Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education
Utah System of Higher Education

There are many factors that come together to make a business successful. You need a good product, you need the right market conditions, and you need skilled employees. Often business executives complain that one of the things that their employees lack is good communication skills. What does that mean? Everyone communicates today. Everyone has a cell phone, an iPad, an iPod, or a portable computer of one kind or another. People are texting, emailing, and posting to Facebook all the time. So what is the problem?

Communication is more than sending words back and forth hoping to be understood. The level of your communication skill often sets you apart from other people. If you are able to communicate well, you are able to clearly state your thoughts so that other people understand your true message, whether delivered verbally or in writing. There are a lot of different strategies that people use to communicate effectively. We not only need to understand how to communicate verbally and with the written word, but also we need to understand the role that non-verbal communication takes place through gestures and touch, by body language or posture, by facial expression and eye contact, or even by the way that we dress.

Probably the first step in communicating effectively is to understand who your audience is going to be and tailoring your message to fit that circumstance. Not everyone communicates the same way or at the same level. Sometimes there is a special “slang” and concepts that go with different jobs. Accounting experts may communicate differently than information technologists. If you know who you are communicating with, your chances of being understood are increased.

Here are five important elements to consider when communicating verbally or in writing.

  1. Don’t be timid. If you have a point to get across, be confident and don’t be afraid to make your point. Too often people assume that what they have to contribute is not important. Be confident in yourself and the knowledge that you have acquired.
  2. Be prepared. When you know that you are going to be in a group, and expected to make a contribution, give some prior thought to your own opinions and be ready to make your point backed with knowledge and facts.
  3. Keep an open mind. If you are communicating with a group they will have a diverse set of opinions. Be willing to listen and be respectful of other views. If you are willing to listen to others points of view, they will be more willing to listen to you.
  4. Write clearly and to your audience. When asked to prepare your thoughts in writing, don’t assume that your audience knows about the subject you are writing about. Introduce your topic, include enough background material to support your point, and then state your main message clearly.
  5. Use correct style and grammar. Too often today style and grammar are an afterthought to the message. Know the basic styles for memos, letters, and reports. A professionally written document goes a long way to help communicate the message. Sentences and paragraphs should not be long and complicated. A few minutes spent proofreading will help ensure that a wrong impression is not communicated.

If communication skills are so important, where can we be sure to get those skills? Career and Technical Education courses emphasize these skills. Be sure that in your program of study you pay attention to those skill areas, whether it is in a business communication class, an information technology class or a drafting class. If you pay attention you will pick up those skills that will set you apart from those you are going to compete with for a good paying job.

Springville High School FFA Receives Grant

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Q&A with Monica Giffing: Agricultural Education teacher and Utah FFA advisor at Springville High School.

Question: The Springville High School FFA chapter was recently awarded a $2,000 “Food for All” grant. What organization provided this grant?
Answer: The grant is administered by the National FFA Organization in partnership with the Howard G. Buffet Foundation and Farmers Feeding the World. Our chapter was one out of 140 chapters nationwide who received a grant. We applied for the grant in October and are thrilled that we were one of the applicants selected. This application was put together by our FFA Chapter President Christina Nolasco, she will also serve as our Community Garden chairman.

Question: What do you think made your application standout?
Answer: I believe our application stood out because of the completeness of the project. The community service that we will be providing starts from the seed germination in our greenhouse, to planting and harvesting the produce, to donating to the local community and food bank.

Question: How will the Springville High School FFA chapter use the grant money?
Answer: The budget set forth was meant for supplies, equipment, and marketing of the community vegetable garden.

Question: What size is the vegetable garden?
Answer: The vegetable garden is 26,000 square feet. We will grow all types of vegetables, including several varieties of tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, melons, and pumpkins. We will also have an herb garden.

Question: Are their local sponsors who assist with additional costs that the grant may not cover?
Answer: Harward Farms is a great supporter of this project. They helped with their farm equipment to prepare the soil. Last year, SunRoc helped us begin this endeavor by donating a variety of garden tools.

Question: What will be done with the food that is harvested in the fall?
Answer:  During the harvest season we will have a roadside stand once a week. All ripe produce will be available for anyone in need and the leftover produce will be taken to the Utah County Food Bank in Provo.

Question: How many students are in the Springville High School FFA chapter?
Answer:  We have 82 Springville High School FFA members.

Question: What responsibilities do students have with the maintenance of the garden?
Answer: We have one lead garden chairman and five garden co-chairs. Each co-chair is responsible for a portion of the garden. From planting, to managing, to water, to harvest, they will oversee a sub-committee to help maintain the area. This serves as a students Supervised Agricultural Experience and will become their summer agricultural project. 

Question: What are students saying about the community vegetable garden project?
Answer: Christina Nolasco said, “I think this project is good because it gives me and other [FFA] members a chance to give back to our community that is so supportive of us.”

Chapter Vice President Amberly Bradford believes learning about gardening is something everyone needs. She said, “I think our garden project is great because everyone needs a chance to learn how to be self-sufficient. It will help us now as we learn skills like transplanting and later on when we have our own gardens.”

Read about the Springville High School FFA project in the Daily Herald, Springville FFA receives Food for All grant.

UtahCTE.org congratulates the Springville High School FFA chapter on receiving the “Food for All” grant and for their continued excellence in the Agricultural Education program. Keep up the great work!

Agriculture is the nation’s largest employer with one in seven of American workers employed in agriculture-related jobs. Each U.S. farmer produces food and fiber for 155 people in the United States and abroad. Visit UtahCTE.org to learn about a career in Agriculture.

2012 Summer Camps

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Ah, summer. . . A time to relax, play, make new friends, and LEARN A NEW SKILL! Below is a list of summer camps taking place across the state. See which camp interests you and register today. Talk to your school counselor or CTE teacher to locate other summer camps in your area.

Manufacturing Camp
June 11-15
Learn how things are made and how businesses develop by participating in the nuts, bolts and thingamajigs manufacturing camp. You will design and manufacture a catapult, learn computer-aided design, and tour a local manufacturing facility and learn what kinds of jobs exist, what skills and training are required, and how that business developed.
Location: Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College
Ages: 14-18
Cost: $60.00
Enrollment deadline: May 31

Youth Education
June 4-25
The University of Utah hosts a variety of classes for students of all ages. From graphic arts, to 3D game design, to exploring engineering, students will learn lifelong skills.
Location: University of Utah
Ages: All ages
Cost: Tuition varies
Enrollment deadline: varies

2D Video Gaming Camp
June 11-15
Learn how to create video games by participating in hands-on exercises. Learn about pursuing a career in video game development and how to obtain the right education to get a job.
Location: Weber State University
Ages: Grades 9-12
Cost: $30.00 – fee includes textbook and training manual for each camp participant.
Enrollment deadline: May 31

4-H Summer Camps
June 12-August 9
Learn about chemical properties and pressure at the Science Camp. Learn about the basics of digital photographic and video at the Photography Camp. Learn outdoor survivor skills at the Survivor Camp. Learn how to make a solar oven at the outdoor cooking camp.
Sponsored by: Utah State University Cooperative Extension
Location: varies
Ages: All ages
Cost: $60 a week
Enrollment deadline: varies

Summer Youth Experience
June 18 – August 19
Learn basic skills in culinary arts. Explore the aerospace industry. Use Auto-CAD to produce detailed designs. Learn how to automate and program robotic arms. Develop your own Web page using code. There many classes to choose from, so register today.
Location: Davis Applied Technology College
Ages: 14-18
Cost: $10.00 per session
Enrollment deadline: varies

Youth Summer Science Workshops
June 25-28 (Session 1)
July 9-12 (Session 2)
July 16-19 (Session 3)
July 30 – August 2 (Session 4)
Participants will have hands-on experiences and activities in civil engineering, mathematics, physics, robotics, engineering, and more!
Location: Salt Lake Community College, Taylorsville Redwood Campus
Ages: 8-14
Cost: $100.00
Enrollment deadline: varies

Biotech Summer Camp
July 9-13
Learn how research is done in labs through planning and practice of daily research experiments and activities. You will explore everything from plants, soils, food, nutrition, animal veterinary science, to current topics in chemistry, biology, biological engineering, and genomics.
Location: Utah State University
Ages: High school juniors and seniors
Cost: $200 – includes five-days of room and board
Enrollment deadline: June 18, 2012

Bytes of Brilliance Technology Camp
July 16-19
Learn Photoshop, Animation, L3, and Scratch.
Location: Salt Lake Community College
Ages: For girls ages 12-17
Cost: $30.00
Enrollment deadline: Call 801-957-5150 for information

Biotechnology Camp
July 16-17 (Session 1)
July 18-19 (Session 2)
Learn about careers in biotechnology by participating in hands-on laboratory experiences. Extract and analyze your own DNA and learn about careers in biotechnology.
Location: Jordan Applied Technology Center (JATC)
Ages: Incoming 9th and 10th grade students
Cost: $10.00
Enrollment deadline: June 24

Engineering Camp
July 30-August 2 (Session 1)
August 6-9 (Session 2)
Learn about the engineering behind what makes things work by participating in hands-on activities.
Location: Jordan Applied Technology Center (JATC)
Ages: Grades 8 – 11
Cost: $10.00
Enrollment deadline: June 1

What summer camp did you register for? Tell UtahCTE.org about the camp you attended, what you learned, and the hands-on experiences you participated in. Send your stories to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov.

Central Region Career Days

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

On Tuesday, April 12, 2012, 10th grade students from the Central Region gathered together to participate in a Career Day event highlighting Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways. The event was held at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield where 1,100 students explored numerous careers by participating in hands-on activities. Participating high schools included:

Delta North Sevier
Fillmore Piute
Gunnison Valley Richfield
Juab South Sevier
Millard Wayne
North Sanpete  

Students had the opportunity to explore over 60 different careers featured at the Career Day event. Local businesses set up interactive booths/displays where students were able to “try on a career” working hands-on using tools and equipment. “This year we focused on nontraditional careers. Upon arrival each student received a ‘Nontraditional Passport’ to record the careers they explored. Every student took the opportunity to explore four nontraditional careers for their gender,” said Darlene Wabel, Central Region CTE Pathways Coordinator.

Throughout the event students had a wonderful time exploring careers and participating in hands-on activities with local businesses. Students were engaged and eagerly participated in the many activities available, which included:

AT&T – Students learned how electronic communications work.
BLM – Students were introduced to the varied careers offered at many BLM locations.
Brooklyn Gardens – Students learned how to plant seeds for a greenhouse and how the to care for the plants for retail sale.
Central Utah Corrections – Students were able to see the day in a life of a corrections officer and the many things that challenge them on a daily basis from those confined in prison.
Central Utah Public Health – Students were shown how to give an injection and then practiced on oranges.
Mountain America Credit Union – Students learned how to manage a debit card.
National Weather Service – Students learned about how weather influences many careers and about the career of forecasting weather.
OSHA – Students learned how to put on and wear a safety harness.
Redmond Salt – Students learned how salt is mined and learned about the many products made from salt. They also learned how salt is used to enhance wildlife production.
SUU Engineering – Students built bridges from paper and then tested there strength with a coin.
Sevier County Sheriff – Students learned about careers in law enforcement, including occupations in the SWAT team and in the DARE program, learning about the equipment used to serve and protect the public.
Sevier Valley Hospital – Students looked at blood slides from the lab and learned how to use equipment in respiratory therapy.
Sprockets Students used tools of the trade in repairing ATV’s and motorcycles.
USU Extension Students had to identify different types of animal feed and select those that would increase animal production.
Utah Division of Natural Resources – Students learned the responsibilities of a Fish and Game Warden and those who grow the fish in the hatchery environment.
Thalman Orthodontics – Students were shown how an orthodontist learns to straighten teeth.
Wells Fargo – Students learned about bank accounts and filled out deposit slips.

Students had to dress in proper attire to work on a lifelike patient. Nursing is a nontraditional career for males.

A pilot is a nontraditional career for females.







A nontraditional career is any occupation in which women or men comprise 25 percent or less of its total employment. CTE students in the Central Region are among the 325,000 secondary and postsecondary CTE students in Utah. For information about the CTE classes offered at your school talk to your school counselor or visit UtahCTE.org.

 Career and Technical Education: Preparing Students for College and Career!


Robot Grand Challenge

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, twenty-five high school robotics teams will compete in the Fourth Annual Robot Grand Challenge at Utah Valley University (UVU) in the UCCU Event Center. Teams across Utah were provided Lego® Mindstorms® NXT robot kits and on Tuesday will build the grand robot for this competition.


Who: High school students
What: Robot Grand Challenge
Where: Utah Valley University
When: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Events: http://www.uvu.edu/tc/techexpo/events.html
Schedule: http://www.uvu.edu/tc/techexpo/schedule.html
Skills Challenges: http://www.uvu.edu/tc/techexpo/skillschallenges/index.html

Five years ago, the UVU Department of Electrical Automation and Robotic Technology (EART) received a grant to promote robotics in high schools. Each high school in the Mountainland Region was given Lego® Mindstorms® NXT robotic equipment, along with teacher training to integrate robotics into their curriculum. These robotic kits were placed in a variety of courses: Engineering Design, Computer Programming, Physics, and Electronics. Each year, teacher training and a statewide robotics competition have been provided by UVU.

“Student interest in robotics has increased exponentially over the past four years. There are now robotics clubs throughout Utah. Robotics curriculum is being taught in elementary, junior high, and high school; with 13 high schools teaching full courses in robotics. Nine of these schools are in the Mountainland region,” said Darrell Andelin, Technology and Engineering Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education.

This year the following robotic competitions took place in Utah:

  • Utah State University sponsored several regional VEX robotics competitions with over 50 teams competing. WATCH

  • The Utah First Lego® League held qualifying competitions in nine locations in January, with the State Championship being held at the University of Utah Student Center on January 28, 2012. In all, 150 teams competed in First Lego® League.
  • The University of Utah also sponsored the First Robotics Regional Competition on March 15-17, 2012 at the Maverik Center, with 43 teams from six states.
  • On April 9, 2012, the Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus was the site of the annual First Robotics regional competition. Thirty-one teams from 300 high schools competed. WATCH

“In Utah we have some of the best VEX robots in the world, said Gary Stewardson, Associate Professor at the School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education at Utah State University.

Utah has five teams ranked in the top 30 in the world in programming skills.
VEX World Skills Ranking: Programming Skills

World Ranking

Team No.

Team Name

High School



Raptor Robotics





Mountain Crest



Davis High 1





Mountain Crest




Mountain Crest

Utah has one team ranked in the top 30 in the world in robot skills.
VEX World Skills Ranking: Robot Skills

World Ranking

Team No.

Team Name

High School



Team Titan


“This is incredible considering there are over 4,400 VEX teams registered worldwide this year. I have been told [Utah has] the fastest growing region in the country and more competitive regional VEX robotic competitions per number of robots in the world,” said Stewardson.

Plan now to attend the Robot Grand Challenge on Tuesday, May 1 at Utah Valley University. High schools that were not selected for this year’s competition are welcome to attend the event.

To learn about the Technology and Engineering program in your school contact your school counselor or visit UtahCTE.org.

Scratch Day: Meet, Share, Learn

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Scratch Day is an annual event where students, parents, teachers, and hobbyists join together to write computer programs. People from all over the world gather at local events to meet with other Scratchers, share their projects, experiences and stories, and learn from one another.

What is Scratch? Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create interactive games, stories, animations, music, and art. At http://scratch.mit.edu/ you can view the 2,455,513 projects from Scratchers around the world. The diversity of projects shows the creativity of each Scratcher.

“As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.”

Join fellow Scratchers at the University of Utah on Saturday, May 12, 2012 to meet, share, and learn. Organized by the Utah CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association).

Who: Students, parents, teachers, and hobbyists – Ages 8 and up.

What: Scratch Day

Where: University of Utah
Warnock Engineering Building (#62)
CADE lab (room 24)
Salt Lake City, UT

When: Saturday, May 12, 2012

Time: 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Registration fee: $5.00

Registration deadline: Saturday, May 5, 2012

Share your Scratch stories and projects with UtahCTE.org. Send an email to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov.

Save the Date: Biotechnology Poster Symposium

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Please join the Jordan School District and Salt Lake Community College for the 5th Annual Biotechnology Poster Symposium at the downtown Salt Lake City Public Library (210 East 400 South) on Friday, May 4, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This is an opportunity to view posters of research projects conducted by high school students. The event is open to the public, including industry and business partners, and allows all to interact with some of Utah’s budding scientists.

Who: High school students from the
Jordan Applied Technology Center

What: 5th Annual Biotechnology Poster Symposium

Where: Salt Lake City Public Library
210 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When: Friday, May 4, 2012
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Award Ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m.)

Learn about careers in the field of Biotechnology through participation in Career and Technical Education (CTE). Talk to your school counselor about the Biotechnology Pathway at your school. Occupations in the field of Biotechnology are predicted to be one of the most important applied sciences of the 21st century.

Occupations in the field of Biotechnology include:

Biochemists and Biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes such as cell development, growth, and heredity.

Biotechnology Technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

Immunohematologists perform immunohematology tests, recommends blood problem solutions to doctors, and serves as consultant to blood bank and community: Visually inspects blood in specimen tubes for hemolysis.

Microbiologists study the growth, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, and fungi.

Toxicologists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

 Health Care: Career That Make a Difference


HOSA – Health Occupations Students of America

Friday, April 6th, 2012

HOSA provides students with opportunities to attain the knowledge, skills and leadership characteristics necessary to succeed in a health care profession, through leadership training, career training, and service projects. There are over 3,300 members in 70 Utah chapters.

On March 15-16, 2012, HOSA members from across the state met at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, UT to compete at the HOSA State Leadership Conference and Competition. Throughout the year HOSA members prepared for competitive events in the following areas:

  • Health Science Events
  • Health Professions Events
  • Emergency Preparedness Events
  • Leadership Events
  • Teamwork Events
  • Recognition Events

Conference Winners: 2012 HOSA Events State Medal Listing 

Winners from these events advance to the National HOSA Competition on June 20-23, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

At the conference new HOSA state officers were elected for the 2012-2013 school year. They are:

2012-13 HOSA State Officers
President: Kaesen Rasmussen—North Sevier High School
Northern Area Vice President: Fabiola Bermudez—Timpanogas High School
Salt Lake/Tooele Vice President: Ankita Ray—Skyline High School
Utah County Vice President: Kristian Huff—Merit College Prep Academy
Service Vice President: Ashleigh Bull—West High School
Postsecondary Vice President: Kirsten Reese—Brighton High
Alumni Vice President: Mallory Benson—Park City High
Historian: Brigit McDannell—West High
Parliamentarian: Parker Christensen—Timpview High
Secretary: Autumn Phelps—Highland High

We want to hear about the HOSA conference, your skill competition and what your HOSA chapter has planned for the rest of the school year. Send your stories to utahcte@schools.utah.gov.

If you are not a member of a HOSA and would like to become a member, talk to your school counselor to get connected with the HOSA advisor in your school.

Career Highlight – Summer Jobs

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Summer and part-time jobs are not just a source of income, but can also help you develop important work and leadership skills that will give you an edge for your entire career. In addition, you’ll have opportunities to meet new people who may become lifelong friends or mentors. However, just 45 percent of youth between the ages of 16-24 were employed in August 2011 – significantly lower than the 54.5 percent employed five years ago. If you’re interested in a summer or part-time job, here is some information to help you prepare for and land a job that suits you. Start now!

1) If you are younger than age 16, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines some restrictions on the hours that you can legally work. There are also federal laws that prohibit workers under age 18 from working in hazardous occupations. Try the FLSA Child Labor Rules Advisor to check for restrictions that might apply to you.

2) The Occupational Safety and Health Administration promote summer job safety.

3) Take advantage of the Job Search tools, the online directory of Utah companies in FirmFind, plus a great article – “Simmering for a Summer Job” – offered by the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

4) The U. S. Department of Labor is launching a Summer Jobs + Jobs Bank! You can sign up here to be notified when the site goes live.

Finally, social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) are used more frequently and in innovative ways by job seekers and employers alike. Be thoughtful and responsible as you post, but don’t be afraid to enlist the support of followers and friends as search for opportunities.