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Archive for August, 2013

Plan Now to Attend the Little Hands on the Farm Exhibit

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

The Little Hands on the Farm exhibit will return to the Utah State Fair September 5-15, 2013. This interactive exhibit is organized and operated by the Utah FFA—the organization for Agricultural Education students. Utah FFA state officers worked hard during the summer preparing this popular exhibit for the Utah State Fair. Each day, during the ten day event, two Utah FFA chapters will provide 10 members each to run this outstanding display.

This year, Utah FFA members anticipate more than 21,000 Little Farm Hands and their families will visit the exhibit and experience life on the farm. This interactive experience is especially for children ages 2 to 10. Children will learn where food comes from and the process it takes to get it from the farm to the grocery store by planting seeds, harvesting crops, milking a cow (a friendly fiberglass cow), gathering eggs, and selling their goods at market.

The Little Hands on the Farm experience is included with gate admission and can be found west of the arena. During the Fair, the exhibit is open each day from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Utah State Fair
September 5-15, 2013
Sunday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.


Meet Social Media-Savvy Teacher, William Keil

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

While students were taking a summer break, most teachers were spending at least part of their summer time in various conferences, workshops and other learning experiences designed to increase their knowledge, build their skills, and generally get them motivated for another year of molding young minds. Computer Technology teacher William Keil, who teaches at Sunset Ridge Middle School, is no exception. When he had the opportunity during one conference to win a set of CTE posters for his classroom simply by posting to Facebook, he grabbed his iPad and accomplished that little assignment in minutes!

Though Mr. Keil now has years of teaching experience, he actually began his career as an accountant. And though he spent years teaching at the high school level, he opted to move to Sunset Ridge Middle School about seven years ago and has never looked back. He says he has an appreciation for middle school students, partly because his wife also teaches students in this age group. (Yes, they sometimes compare notes.) He sees lifelong learning as one key to being a great teacher. He says he and his fellow Jordan District CTE teachers have help keeping up with current trends from district level staff. Everyone is interested in keeping the technology safe, secure and accessible to teachers and students.

 Sunset Ridge Middle School

Mr. Keil likes learning new ways to incorporate technology in his classroom, and sees the potential power of advancing the use of social media in schools. He is also very aware of the need to balance early adoption of new technology with security. Students in middle school turn that magic age of thirteen – the age at which their contributions to online communities begin to be recognized. Mr. Keil recognizes his responsibility to help his students successfully navigate the new waters associated with all technology. If you see him, tell him thanks for going to school in the summer!


 Like teachers across the state, Mr. Keil spends time preparing before students
come back from their summer breaks. For one thing, he’ll bring this computer lab
back to life before students arrive on the first day of school.

New School Year = New Opportunities

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Students across the state of Utah are returning to school to begin a new school year. With a new school year comes new opportunities. Opportunities to:

  • Set goals. Make educational goals that are specific to what you want to accomplish during the school year. Goals should be specific, measureable, attainable, and realistic. Setting a timeline with each goal is a great way to plan and prepare for tomorrow and the future.
  • Learn a new skill. Participating in Career and Technical Education (CTE) will provide you with the technical skills and academic knowledge you will need to prepare for life after high school—future employment and/or a successful transition to postsecondary education.
  • Participate in hands-on learning activities. Taking CTE courses are a great way to participate in a variety of hands-on learning activities that will jump-start your career by preparing you for high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations.
  • Complete a CTE Pathway. Juniors: Ask your school counselor if you’re on track to become a CTE Pathway completer. A CTE Pathway completer is eligible to receive a Secondary Pathway Completer Recognition Award at graduation.
  • Join a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO). Involvement in a CTSO is a great way to develop leadership skills and positive work values.
  • Participate in a job shadow or internship. A job shadow or internship is an excellent way to experience “real life” work situations and understand how classroom learning is applied in the world of work. Talk to the Work-Based Learning coordinator at your school and sign up for a job shadow or internship today.
  • Apply for a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award. Seniors: Applications are due Monday, February 24, 2014.
  • Plan for life after high school—college and career. Talk to your school counselor about training and education beyond high school. Your school counselor can guide you as you plan your high school courses and prepare for the future.

We invite you to sign up for the CTE Directions newsletter and to join the UtahCTE.org online communities—Twitter, Facebook, Utah CTE blog—to connect with CTE throughout the year.

Tell UtahCTE.org what your plans are for the new school year. Send your comments to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov.

Don’t think of summer ending …think of school beginning!

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

By Mary Shumway
State Director of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Utah State Office of Education

It’s hard to believe but it’s that time of the year again – the beginning of a new school year. Your Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers have spent part of the summer updating their knowledge and skills to ensure that your classroom experiences are better than ever. Welcome back!

In recent years Career and Technical Education has faced some challenges. Between No Child Left Behind legislation, increased graduation requirements in math and science, accountability in academic subjects and budget cuts, CTE has had difficulty maintaining a full range of options in some schools. But a recent article – “Stop Stigmatizing Vocational Education” (published online by RealClearPolicy, a catch-all source for policy news and commentary) – suggests that Career and Technical Education needs to become a greater focus in our education system. New technologies (e.g., hydraulic fracturing), global economic trends (e.g., rising wages in Asia), and domestic policy changes are bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

What does this mean for today’s CTE students? Even as our nation redefines the knowledge and skill requirements of these new energy and manufacturing jobs, you can be assured that the CTE experiences you have today are designed to help you be college and career ready. That’s because not only does CTE help you develop technical knowledge and skills, CTE also offers opportunities to develop the social capital, employability skills, and the positive work ethic that will make you a quality worker, no matter the specific job.

Here are five ways to maximize your CTE experience this year:

1.  Develop a meaningful College and Career Plan. Talk to your counselor about what types of high school courses are available to help you learn the hands-on skills required in careers of interest to you. Get advice about what postsecondary options are most likely to promote your success, given both your personal and career goals. For most students this plan must also include specific information about how you will pay for the costs associated with your postsecondary training.

2.  Commit to a CTE Career Pathway. A Pathway is like an educational map that will guide you to the high school and postsecondary options that best support your career goals.

3.  Participate in a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO). Discover the CTSO most related and active for your CTE Area of Study. Every CTSO is designed to advance student leadership, citizenship, and professionalism. Through regional, state and national conferences, members have opportunities to be involved in service projects, showcase their technical skills, and network with one another.

4.  Take advantage of the Skill Certificate Program. Skill Certificates verify the technical skills that you have attained by taking a CTE course and demonstrating your competencies through an assessment. There are Skill Certificate tests associated with every CTE Area of Study.

5.  Take part in Work-Based Learning. Internships, Service Learning, Job Shadows, Field Studies and Career Fairs are just some of the ways to be involved in learning that extends your classroom experiences to the world beyond.

Career and Technical Education is the most meaningful part of high school for many, many students. For some it provides a much-needed glimpse into the future where they can successfully compete for interesting, well-paying jobs. For others it might simply be the first taste of an area of study that they will want to pursue in more depth in high school and beyond. Whatever CTE means to you, may this school year bring you every opportunity to succeed today and in the future.

Corner Canyon High School

Monday, August 12th, 2013

By Wayne Dittmore, CTE Coordinator

Canyons School District has a new high school! Corner Canyon High School, named after the nearby and very popular canyon in Draper, UT, will open its doors this August to more than 1,800 students. The new school, with the large dome and cupola (reminiscent of a pioneer landmark in Draper, UT) will offer a full range of CTE classes in four departments: Business/Marketing, FACS, Technology/Engineering, and Skilled/Technical. One of the more unique programs at the new school will be Robotics, with a 2,000 sq. ft. shop and lab area. This area will allow ample space for the construction and testing of the students’ robots, with a full competition court for “robot smack-down.”

For those students who are planning careers in the food and beverage industry, the FACS Department is equipped with state-of-the-art culinary equipment, which allows students the opportunity of learning and practicing their skills using industry-grade equipment and tools. Further down the hall, in the wood shop, students will be constructing pieces of furniture and musical instruments using equipment that rivals that which local industry experts have. Just a short stroll down another hall, is the Marketing classroom where students will be using an iPad lab for their projects and classwork. Technology is everywhere, and teachers are being trained on how to use technology to accelerate student learning and engagement.

CTE will play an integral part in every student’s schedule, with emphasis on both college and career readiness. Students are encouraged to explore the many options offered in CTE. Some students will discover new interests and passions, and others will launch themselves into future dynamic careers due to their experience in one of their high school CTE classes. As a co-curricular element, Corner Canyon High will also offer students the opportunity to participate in any of the six CTSOs: DECA, FBLA, FCCLA, HOSA, SkillsUSA, and TSA.

Commons area inside Corner Canyon High School

The public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, August 13 at 9:00 a.m. Corner Canyon High School is located in Draper at 12943 South 700 East. The first day of school is August 19.

If you’re a student attending Corner Canyon High School, tell UtahCTE.org about your first day of school in your shiny new building. Send your stories and photos to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Did you know that 50 percent of STEM jobs DO NOT require a bachelor’s degree? It’s true! Many blue collar and technical jobs require considerable STEM knowledge and the jobs pay very well. According to a recent Brookings Institute study, “As of 2011, one out of every 10 U.S. jobs are sub-bachelor’s STEM jobs. With an average salary of $53,000, they provide decent-paying career paths at a time when less than one-third of young adults are finishing expensive four-year degrees.Examples of these occupations include industrial machinery mechanics, registered nurses, auto-mechanics, carpenters, supervisors of production workers, electricians, machinists, pipefitters, welders, machine programmers, chemical technicians, and sheet metal workers.”

The Brookings study identifies ten STEM clusters for which large numbers of job openings are expected. The following table reflects the occupation within each cluster that requires less than a Bachelor’s degree and offers the largest number of openings in Utah.

(Source: Utah Department of Workforce Services)

FCCLA Student Members Shine at National Competition

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

By Nikki Sue Larkin, Utah FCCLA State Adviser

Last month, the 2013 FCCLA National Leadership Conference (NLC) was held in Nashville, Tennessee during July 7-11. With the theme “Discover Your Voice” 140 FCCLA student members and 70 FCCLA advisers and chaperones from Utah found their tune as they attended dynamic workshops and break-out sessions, participated in STAR Events (competitive events), met new people, and expanded their leadership potential. Great memories were made at the various tourist attractions which included the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman, and the Wildhorse Saloon.

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel/Convention Center where we stayed was absolutely amazing. With the meandering rivers, overhanging trees, vines and beautiful flowers, it was like Hawaii but with air-conditioning! Besides being beautiful and huge, it was laid out in the most complex maze-like configuration.

Our first full day was Saturday and many of the Utah delegation rode a bus through torrential rain to visit Music Row and other sights around the city. They ended up at the Ryman, where they learned the history of country music and got some great photos on stage. They dined and line-danced at the Wildhorse Saloon and did a little shopping on Broadway. That evening they walked to the Grand Ole Opry and enjoyed some down home country music. The last performer was Carrie Underwood who made enduring the evening of “twang” worthwhile.

On Monday the conference really got started. Half of the STAR Events began as well as the FCCLA exhibits and workshops. Monday night was the opening session and was exceptionally enjoyable. The Utah delegation received red-light-up foam tubes, which we all waved frantically whenever Utah was recognized. The FCCLA National Officers did a skit using the “Voice” as their model. The guest speaker was Doc Hendley, a young man who told us his personal story and how he turned his own personal failures into success through helping provide clean water for third world countries. He was a remarkable speaker and motivator.

Tuesday was the second day of competitions and workshops. The students enjoyed some great youth speakers, including the ruggedly handsome Mike Smith who spoke about his journey to help the disadvantaged. At the exhibits there were great ideas for activities and programs teachers could use to incorporate in their own FCCLA chapters. There were pamphlets and handouts to take and even cooking demos in the back of the room, with samples to taste. On Wednesday, advisers and students attended many wonderful workshops and at the closing session many Utah FCCLA members were recognized for their achievements.

“I thought the FCCLA National Leadership Conference was incredible! In my opinion, there is no better way to catch the fire and enthusiasm for FCCLA than attending NLC. It really gives you the big picture. This was my second time attending as an adviser, and both times I have attended I have left with so many great ideas and a larger desire to strengthen my FCCLA chapter back at home. Some of my favorite parts of NLC are the general sessions. I am always amazed by the grand scale of FCCLA on the national level, the professionalism of the national officers, and their ability to put on such an entertaining and enriching performance. Another favorite was the opportunity to judge STAR Events and again be amazed by the incredible abilities of FCCLA members. All in all, friendships were formed, much fun was had, and I was again and again reminded how much I love and believe in the FCCLA organization!” said Brittany Peterson, American Fork High School FCCLA Adviser.

The 2013 FCCLA National Leadership Conference culminated with an Awards Ceremony Thursday night. Congratulations to each Utah FCCLA student member who participated in a STAR Event. Students worked hard throughout the year to advance to the national competition and represented Utah extremely well.

Our Utah competitors finished with 34 gold medals, 62 silver medals, and 22 bronze medals. Kaitlyn Burgess from Syracuse High School won 1st overall in the Interior Design event and Edna Cuevas from Timpanogas High School won 2nd overall in Fashion Design event. Melissa Behunin, Madison Donohoe, and Kelin Bleazard from Cedar High School won 2nd overall in the Digital Stories for Change event.

The list of Utah FCCLA National STAR Events Medal Winners can be viewed HERE.

Maddie Barr, Utah FCCLA Vice President of Community Service and student at Carbon High School, described her time at the 2013 National FCCLA Leadership Conference saying, “My experience at the FCCLA National Leadership Conference was an unforgettable one! I learned new leadership skills, how to better communicate with adults and other members, and how to gain confidence for myself and build up others confidence. I loved meeting new people and I can’t wait for what this year will bring for Utah FCCLA!”

Related news stories:
Syracuse High grad wins interior design scholarship at national conference
CHS students win national honors