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Archive for September, 2012

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The Utah FFA state officers, members, and advisors would like to thank the many sponsors who generously contributed materials, supplies, and products for the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit at the 2012 Utah State Fair. Your contributions and support made the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit a HUGE success. THANK YOU!

Gossner Foods
Intermountain Egg Producers
Utah Apple Marketing Board
Utah Dairy Council
Utah Farm Bureau
Utah Farmers Union
Utah’s Own- Utah Department of Agriculture
Utah Pork Producers
Utah Wool Growers Association

Watch the video of an FFA member giving a tour of Little Hands on the Farm.

Computer Programmers and Software Developers Make Life Easier and Fun!

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Computers are so important in our everyday lives. We use computers throughout the day to do everything from communicating with colleagues, family and friends, to researching a topic, to composing a letter, to creating a spreadsheet, to reading the news. With technology right at our fingertips we are able to instantly send a text or an email to someone on the other side of the world. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow us to post our thoughts and photos for anyone to see. When you think about it, it is absolutely mindboggling and amazing. We use apps on our smartphone or tablet to read the news or an e-book, check the weather, play a game, shop, or send a message. We expect our “computers” to be fast and work properly without any glitches. Did you ever stop to think who makes all of this possible? Computer programmers and software developers do!

Using a specialized code, computer programmers develop software applications that make our life easier and FUN! Computer programmers turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. Does this sound like something you would like to do? Students interested in programming/software development can participate in the Career and Technical Education Programming/Software Development Pathway at their high school.

My class is a challenging course that involves a real world programming language and prepares students for the challenges that they will face in the future—in college and the workforce. In the computer programming/software development class students complete projects using mySQL databases, the Android mobile environment, as well as integrating at least one other language,” says Cody Henrichsen, computer programming instructor at Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC).

Students in the CTEC computer programming/software development class work on projects integrating Java and mySQL programming so they can interact with databases within their regular Java programming. Students study Android mobile development and develop an app to release on the Android Marketplace. “Last year, as a class project, students developed two apps that are going to be added to the marketplace this month. We developed apps that showcase the CTEC programs and offer a vocabulary study tool for a variety of classes including programming, cosmetology, electrical, and fire science. We are preparing them for release on all three of the major mobile environments,” says Henrichsen.

Students participating in the Programming/Software Development Pathway have the opportunity to participate in the following events throughout the year.

> Utah High School Supercomputing Competition
> Utah IT Challenge Competition
> Lego® Robotics Competition

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in computer systems design and related services is projected to increase by 45 percent through the year 2018. According to the Utah Technology Council, the technology industry represents 14.3 percent of the state’s total payroll, which includes over 100,000 high-wage jobs, having an economic impact of approximately $7 billion.

Would you describe yourself as an analytical thinker, independent, curious, and observant? Are you good at solving math problems and applying existing technology in creative ways? Do you like to play video games, try out new technology, and work on your own? If you answered yes, then a career in Information Technology may be of interest to you. Talk to your school counselor to learn more about the Programming/Software Development Pathway.

CTSO Fall Leadership Conferences

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Between September 24 and November 6 Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) leadership conferences will take place throughout the state. State and chapter officers will gather together to learn, plan, and prepare for the 2012-2013 school year.

September 24:
SkillsUSA Utah Leadership Training Institute – Utah Valley University – Orem, UT
September 26-27:
FCCLA Fall Leadership Conference – Marriott, Hotel – Provo, UT
October 11-12:
DECA Fall Leadership Conference – Yarrow Hotel – Park City, UT
October 13:
TSA Fall Leadership Conference – Granite Technical Institute – Salt Lake City, UT
October 24-27:
FFA National Convention – Indianapolis, IN
October 25-26:
FBLA Fall Leadership Conference – Hilton Hotel – Salt Lake City, UT
November 6:
HOSA Fall Leadership Conference – Marriott, Hotel – Provo, UT

What Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) are you a member of?

  • DECA – An Association of Marketing Students
  • FBLA – Future Business Leaders of America
  • FCCLA – Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
  • FFA – An Association of Agricultural Education Students
  • HOSA – Health Occupations Students of America
  • Skills USA – An Association of Skilled & Technical Sciences Education Students
  • TSA – Technology Student Association

State and chapter officers, we want to hear about your conference and what your CTSO chapter is planning for the year. Send your stories and photos to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov and we will share them with our online communities—Twitter, Facebook, Utah CTE blog, and the CTE Directions newsletter.

CTSOs present organized activities for students to gain personal and leadership skills, making them more employable, preparing them to become productive citizens, and assisting them in assuming positive roles in the home and community.

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

Keyboarding: A Critical Literacy Skill

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

How often do you use a computer during the day to communicate a thought or a message? It is probably more often than you realize. From personal computers, to laptops, to tablets, computers are everywhere. Today’s productivity requires excellent keyboarding skills. While most children and adults can learn to hunt and peck on their own, real typing speed depends on proper technique. Speed is important because a young person should learn how to think and compose at the keyboard.

Efficient keyboarding and computer operation is a necessary and critical skill for the majority of occupations. According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, ninety-six percent of ALL jobs require effective keyboarding skills. Keyboarding is an expected tool for communication throughout one’s life. It is a skill that is considered as important as being able to print and write well. Now is the time to perfect your keyboarding skills.

 Keyboarding is a critical literacy skill!
It ranks with reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking.

In Utah schools, keyboarding is taught beginning in kindergarten and continues through grade 12. Students learn touch keyboarding techniques, correct fingering, speed and accuracy, and composing at the keyboarding.

Grades K-2

  • Students will be introduced to touch keyboarding techniques and correct fingering.
  • Mouse-driven software is recommended for K-2 students.

 Grades 3-5

  • Students will learn touch keyboarding techniques with emphasis on correct fingering.
  • Students will achieve a minimum of 25 words per minute by the end of 5th grade.

Grades 6-8

  • Students will use proper touch keyboarding techniques.
  • Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of basic word processing functions and proofreading.
  • Students will develop composing skills at the keyboard.
  • Students will achieve a minimum of 45 words per minute by the end of 8th grade.

Grades 9-12

  • Students will exhibit keyboarding competency in other curriculum areas.
  • Students will successfully complete the Computer Technology graduation requirement. (In order to successfully pass this class a student must know how to keyboard correctly.)

Learning proper keyboarding techniques early will prevent you from developing bad habits that are very hard to break. Students who key correctly demonstrate improved language arts skills, can compose faster, produce documents with a neater appearance, and have higher self-esteem.

Students, talk to your school counselor to register for a keyboarding class and plan now to prepare yourself for skills needed now and in the future.

Meet the New DECA State Officers

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

DECA is a student leadership organization that provides hands-on leadership development. Students learn how to develop, price, place, and promote products in the right business setting. The organization builds self-confidence, work attitudes, and communication skills.

Meet the New 2012-2013 DECA State Officers:
Carley Herrick
– State President
Rebecca Pham – Executive Vice President
Josh Anderson – Northern Region VP
Camille Duncan – Central Region VP
McKaylee Eggett – Southern Region VP
Jared Seachris – VP of Public Relations
Kylee Shrader – VP of Events

The DECA state officers have worked hard to plan events and activities that will take place during the 2012-2013 school year. On October 11, 2012, Utah DECA state and chapter officers will gather in Park City, Utah for the DECA Fall Leadership Conference.

Who: DECA state and chapter officers
What: DECA Fall Leadership Conference and Training
Where: Yarrow Hotel in Park City, Utah
When: October 11-12, 2012

“During this event chapter officers from all over the state will come together for two days of DECA training.  Here they will have the chance to meet business professionals from Mountain America Credit Union, REAL Salt Lake, U.S. Army and several other organizations and gain valuable training in the areas of marketing, business, leadership, and advertising,” says Carley Herrick, DECA State President.

Chapter officers will have the opportunity to attend a region break out session where they will share and network with their local chapters and officers. This year’s conference will also include a special competition orientation in which students will have a chance to compete in a DECA Role Play Event and Exam. This will give students the opportunity to get personal feedback from judges and gain valuable competitive experience. The National DECA Western Region V.P. Victoria Cana will also be visiting our Fall Leadership Conference and giving a presentation to the students.

As part of the kick off for the new school year, the DECA state officers have released their goals. The year is expected to be filled with membership drives, training, community service, and preparing for competitive events.

Utah DECA Goals for 2012-2013
Create new chapters throughout the state with a special focus on the St. George area.
2. Implement DECA Competitive Event Training into core curriculum.
3. Gain more exposure statewide through Social Media
(i.e. reaching 1,000 “Likes” on Facebook)
4. Promote the National DECA THRIVE Campaign throughout the state (includes membership, community service, and advocacy campaigns)
5. Reach out and communicate effectively with local chapters.
6. Have the best DECA year ever!

There are over 2,000 DECA members in 52 Utah chapters. If you are not a member of DECA, and would like to become a member, talk to your school counselor to get connected with the DECA advisor in your school.

Governor Herbert Congratulates FCCLA Student Members

Friday, September 14th, 2012

On September 10, 2012, Governor Herbert sent a letter to Utah FCCLA student members to congratulate them on their participation at the 2012 National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida.

FCCLA student members at STAR Events Award Ceremony

Read the letter from Governor Herbert HERE

Little Hands on the Farm

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Have you been to the Utah State Fair? Did you visit the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit? If you are still planning on visiting the Fair be sure to check out the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit.

Little Hands on the Farm is an annual exhibit at the Utah State Fair and is a favorite destination among children. This exhibit provides an agricultural experience for children, their parents, and grandparents in a fun interactive way. Utah FFA  members run this exceptional exhibit. So, stop by and say hello!

Hurry now to the Utah State Fair to visit the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit Live and In Color before it ends on Sunday, September 16, 2012. You will be glad you did!


Back to the Future?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

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

Could it be September again already? That means back to school for students and teachers. For most it is an exciting time, for some there is anxiety and some uncertainty. However, the beginning of a new school year gives everyone an opportunity to set their sights on new goals and new achievements.

We hear a lot in the media these days about how important education is, and we also hear about how education is not measuring up to global standards. What does that mean for us? Can we still be successful? How do we be sure that we are in an educational program that will prepare us for success in the world that we live? The answer to that is Career and Technical Education (CTE). There are many great educational pathways available to us and CTE is the place to begin the process. We know that individually we can have a big impact on how our experiences turn out. As you begin this school year, make up your mind that it will be the best year that you have had so far.

Research tells us that whatever we do, or whatever we accomplish begins in the mind. We can alter our destiny by altering our thoughts. If we set our minds in a particular direction, the chances are that the rest of our physical and emotional self will follow along. The individual that master’s their mind can accomplish great things.

As we begin the new school year, here are five suggestions for making it successful.

1. Begin with a positive attitude. Whenever we begin something new we have the opportunity to take a fresh approach. Old habits can be changed. Old perceptions can be overcome. When we start something fresh we have a chance to be different than who we were in the past, and change to who we would like to become. Remember: What we think, we become. All that we area rises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. –The Buddha

2. Be focused. One of the critical elements of being successful is to be focused on the goal. When we have a strong vision of our goal we are more likely to reach the goal. Very often as we strive to reach our goals we get distracted and we lose our focus. There are a lot things in our daily life that will pull us away from what we want to achieve. Being focused means that you will ignore those distractions and keep working toward the goal. Remember: When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously. –Norman Vincent Peale

3. Be a good communicator. Learning to be a good communicator is important for success. After learning the basics of communication the best way to become a good communicator is to practice. Be willing to join the discussion and contribute your thoughts and ideas. Your ideas are valuable and sharing them helps everyone. The second part of good communication is good listening. When we are willing to listen to others, not just hear them, we not only help them but we open our own understanding that helps us grow and be more effective. Remember: The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said. –Peter Drucker

4. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. We all make mistakes. The problem is not that we make mistakes, but what we think and how we react when it happens. We need to learn from our mistakes and then move on with renewed focus toward our goal. Remember: The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything. –Theodore Roosevelt

5. Be engaged. What you are doing is important, so to be successful be engaged both emotionally and intellectually. Take ownership of where you want to be and then make it happen. There will always be obstacles in your way, but if you are fully engaged in what you want to accomplish you can move them out of the way. Remember: In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient, we must become actively engaged. –The Dalai Lama

Mastering these five suggestions will help you be successful. A good place to practice these suggestions is in a Career and Technical Education course. Investigate the many pathways that are available to you by checking out UtahFutures.org, and UtahCTE.org. Set your goals for the future and then make it happen. There is nothing stopping you—but you.

Occupations Related to Electric Vehicles

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Did you know that electric vehicles actually outsold gas-powered vehicles in the early 1900s? Now they’re making a comeback! Electric vehicles are better for the environment, and – given the rising cost of gas prices – might also be more affordable over the long run. This industry employs a variety of workers in Research, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Maintenance. For example, there are research scientists who are focused on improving battery technology, including a group at Utah State University who just received a $3 million grant to improve electric vehicle battery performance. Chemical, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineers all play a role in the design, development, and testing of electric vehicles and the various systems involved in making those vehicles run efficiently. The largest concentration of U. S. workers in electric vehicle manufacturing occupations (assemblers, CNC tool operators, and machinists) is in the Great Lakes region, but workers that maintain electric vehicles are needed all across the country. No matter what the occupation, people who work on electric vehicles require specialized training.

You can learn more about these occupations, and find schools that offer related programs via UtahFutures. You might also be interested in this article in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly: Electric Vehicle Careers: On the Road to Change. And – just for fun – learn about an electric vehicle company on “our side” of the country: Tesla Motors. Tesla’s Chief Technical Officer got his start in the industry at age 14 when he discovered a discarded golf cart and re-built it!

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

Ashley Labrum Elected FCCLA National Vice President of Programs

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

At the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida, Ashley Labrum, of Pleasant Grove High School, was elected to serve as the 2012-2013 Vice President of Programs on the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Executive Council.

Ashley Labrum 

The FCCLA National Executive Council consists of 10 elected members who primarily serve as liaisons to the FCCLA membership population. In addition to being the youth governing body of the organization, the council aids in national program development, program implementation, and public relations. Officers of the National Executive Council include:

> President > Vice President of Finance
> First Vice President > Vice President of Membership
> Vice President of Community Service > Vice President of Parliamentary Law
> Vice President of Competitive Events > Vice President of Programs
> Vice President of Development > Vice President of Public Relations


2012-2013 FCCLA National Executive Council

As a member of the FCCLA National Executive Council, Ashley will contribute to the planning of the 2012-2013 year for the organization, represent the organization to both internal and external audiences, and seek to grow membership and move the organization forward.

As the Vice President of Programs, Ashley will specifically be responsible for:
>Reviewing the national programs.
>Providing input in new and existing programmatic structures and resources.
>Promoting programs and educating FCCLA members about the various opportunities.
>Reviewing applications of program award and scholarship finalists.
>Congratulating program award and scholarship recipients on their work through FCCLA.
>Serving on the Program Committee of the National Board of Directors.
>Representing the organization at meetings with existing and potential program partners.

Three years ago, Pearl Hart* told me that I was Utah’s ‘Secret Weapon’ in FCCLA. Ever since then I have always had the idea to run for a national office. I always looked up to my best friend Kyle Andrews who was a state officer. I saw how much FCCLA had been a part of his life and I wanted to help others and change their lives like it had changed Kyle’s life and my life,” says Ashley.

As a member of the FCCLA National Executive Council Ashley will have many leadership opportunities during the coming school year. As the National Vice President of Programs Ashley will attend and present at the following meetings:
> Capitol Leadership Training and the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) Conference in Washington DC in October.
> National Cluster Meetings in Reno, Nevada and Indianapolis, Indiana in November.
> Pacific States Conferences in February and March.
> National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in July.

Ashley made FCCLA a focus in her life. She set several goals to work toward to become a national officer. She did not let one difficult thing come in the way of accomplishing her goal. She was driven. She has the right personality for being a national officer. She is fun and is a great leader,” says Melody Anthony, Pleasant Grove High School FCCLA Adviser.

To be elected as a national officer takes planning, preparation, and perseverance. The process begins in February when the national officer candidate fills out the application. There are many parts to the application such as preparing for the national FCCLA test, interviewing, and giving a speech. This takes many long hours of dedication and hard work.

Ashley has a passion for FCCLA. She sees what the organization can do for others. She truly cares about people and wants them to achieve their goals,” says Nikki Sue Larkin, Utah FCCLA State Adviser.

Ashley encourages students to become a member of FCCLA. “Just do it. It will be the best experience of your life. You will have the opportunity to meet new people and set goals in your life that will help you.”

FCCLA: Pack Your Bag and Climb to Your Future

If you are a member of FCCLA and are interested in running for national office next year talk to your adviser about the election process.

*Pearl Hart is the Family and Consumer Sciences Specialist
at the Utah State Office of Education