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Archive for March, 2014

High School Students to Participate in Utah IT Challenge

Monday, March 31st, 2014

During April high school students throughout Utah will compete in the annual Utah IT Challenge. The event is held in partnership with the Microsoft IT Academy, a national program that provides industry-leading technology skills. Utah’s IT Challenge includes Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certifications. Students who participate in the Utah IT Challenge further develop skills in industry-leading technology that will jump-start his/her future career in the IT industry.

Challenges will be held:
April 14, 2014
Salt Lake Metro Area –– Granite Technical Institute (GTI) – Salt Lake City, UT

April 16, 2014
Northern Utah Area –– Layton High School – Layton, UT

April 17, 2014
Southern Utah Area –– Desert Hills High School – St. George, UT

April 21-22, 2014
Utah County Area –– Nebo Advanced Learning Center – Springville, UT

Utah is known as a technology hotspot and is #1 in IT employment growth. According to the Utah Technology Council, there are approximately 7,000 technology companies in Utah, 5,000 in IT. Students who participate in the CTE Information Technology Education Pathways learn and develop IT skills to prepare to advance successfully into the Information Technology industry.

Utah ProStart Teams Advance to National ProStart Invitational

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Twenty-five high school ProStart teams throughout the state of Utah competed in the State ProStart Competition finals held at Thanksgiving Point. Amongst the fierce high school student competitors were representatives from the Utah Restaurant Association, teachers, family, and friends. Teams were nervous, but excited to show off their culinary and management skills to impress the judges. Culinary teams had 60 minutes to prep, cook, plate, and then present a three-course meal to the judges. Management teams had 60 minutes to tell the judges about their unique restaurant concept—location, design, menu, and marketing plan— describing the day-to-day operations.

The event was filled with “firsts” as the winners were announced. For the first time in the history of the Utah ProStart finals two teams tied for first place in the culinary competition. Congratulations to Provo High School and Murray High School! Since only one culinary team can advance to the National ProStart Invitational a tie breaker was held to determine which school would advance to the National ProStart Invitational. To break the tie, each team was interviewed for 30 minutes by a team of judges. Congratulations to Murray High School! This ProStart team will now advance to the National ProStart Invitationalculinary competition.

Congratulations to Provo High School! This ProStart team will now advance to the National ProStart Invitationalmanagement competition.

All of the ProStart teams who qualified and competed in the State ProStart Competition finals competed first at a Regional ProStart Competition. At the state competition, each team demonstrated honed culinary or management skills, team work, and demonstrated professionalism.

Awards will be given to the top Utah ProStart teams and programs in the culinary and management competitions on Monday, May 12, 2014 at the University of Utah.

The Murray High School culinary team and the Provo High School management team will now fine-tune their skills as they prepare to represent Utah at the 13th Annual National ProStart Invitational, which will be held May 3-5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The National ProStart Invitational is the country’s premier high school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. The Invitational will bring together the top ProStart students from 43 states and territories to showcase their talent, passion, and skill for the opportunity to win $1.4 million in scholarships.

Related articles:
Food Fight: High School Chefs Face-Off
Thanksgiving Point hosts ProStart State cooking competition


Sage Thompson: CTE Intern at Farr West Animal Hospital

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Sage Thompson, a senior at Fremont High School in Weber School District, wants to become a doctor of veterinarian medicine. To learn more about this career she participated in a CTE Internship at Farr West Animal Hospital, where she assisted Dr. Bailey with the animals in the hospital. “Seeing Dr. Bailey work on animals and figure out what is wrong with them, and [determine] what is the best way for that animal to get better, has helped me to understand what I want to do with my life. I think now I want to work with more small animals rather than large animals,” says Sage.

At Fremont High School, Sage is taking the Veterinarian Assistant class where she is exploring different avenues of the veterinary profession. In the class she has learned the anatomy, physiology, chemistry, dentistry, health, and disease of animals. Along with learning laboratory procedures, she has also developed skills in the areas of surgical assisting, bandaging, wound care, oral care, and general nursing care of animals.

Sage describes her experience at Farr West Animal Hospital, “I’ve learned so much about what vets do on a daily bases. I love being able to help take care of animals and helping them feel better. Going to the clinic in scrubs, [professionally dressed like] the vet techs and the vet, makes me feel so much closer to my goal of becoming a doctor of veterinarian medicine. Knowing that after many years of school I can go to work doing something I love and also knowing that I can help animals become healthy again is a great feeling. With being in the clinic for a few months now I have learned many great things I need to know about becoming a vet.”

As part of the CTE Internship at Farr West Animal Hospital, Sage has had the opportunity use the skills she developed in the Veterinarian Assistant class at Fremont High School. “I love being able to understand what the vet techs and vet are talking about. Knowing all the terms for being a vet makes it so much easier to intern in a vet clinic.”

CTE Internships provide on-the-job training opportunities that are directly related to a career goal and course of study identified through a College and Career Plan. This Work-Based Learning experience is designed to bridge the gap between school and work. If you’re interested in participating in a CTE Internship talk to the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at your school.

HOSA Hunger Banquet

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

By Diane Gardner,
Health Science Education Specialist and HOSA Advisor,
Timpanogos High School, Alpine School District

At Timpanogos High School, our HOSA Community Awareness Team wanted to focus on the alarming statistics of rising hunger rates in our community. As a HOSA chapter, we discussed the importance of raising awareness of both the need in our own community and worldwide. In the fall we held a food drive, we aired a public service announcement informing the school of the growing need to donate food, put signs around the school with hunger facts, and collected almost 3,000 cans of food for our local food bank. But, we wanted to do more! Our HOSA Community Awareness Team contacted OxFam, a national organization who works internationally with raising awareness about hunger, and we started to “do more.”

On February, 19, 2014 we held a Hunger Banquet at Timpanogos High School, which was AWESOME! More than 140 students attended from Timpanogos High School, Mountain View High School, Orem High School, and Pleasant Grove High School. We divided the groups into First World, Second World, and Third World populations, proportionally. The First World group was served a nice pasta dinner—with extra-large helpings—while sitting at a beautiful table setting. The Second World group was served a dinner of rice, beans, a tortilla, and an apple, while sitting at tables with paper plates and cups, plastic forks, and had water to drink. The Third World group was served a dinner of only rice, and ate their meal while sitting on blankets placed on the floor. This group had to dip water out bucket into paper cups and had a reed basket that held a few wooden forks and paper plates. There were not enough wooden forks for everyone in the group, so some had to eat with their fingers.

Karina Holt, a junior at Timpanogos High School and member of the HOSA Community Awareness Team, said this about the banquet, “From this [experience] I learned that I am so blessed and I have the resources to help others. So many people are suffering in the world while a lot of us are here and have more than we can imagine. Another thing I realized was that living where we are we have so many more opportunities. Hunger is a real problem, yet we can all do something to make a difference. I am so glad that we were able to do a Hunger Banquet at our school. I learned so much and I know that it moved others.”

At the event we listened to several speakers including, Levi Marshall, a student at Timpanogos High School, who lived in Haiti during the earthquake; Genna Lasko, from Hadley Impact Consulting, who spoke about world poverty and hunger; and HOSA president McKay Jones who spoke on hunger in our own community. All of the students learned the importance of making a difference and were shown several ways they could help raise awareness, donate, and be involved in changing the world hunger problem. We had more than 100 people come to support and listen to our program.

During the event we held several raffles, auctioned off donated gift baskets, Jet Blue tickets, and other items. We raised approximately $1,500! The money will go to help several farmers on KIVA.org, as well as our local food bank. The money from the Jet Blue tickets will go towards a Utah HOSA scholarship program.

The Hunger Banquet was a huge success! Thank you to those who participated in the event, and to those businesses who generously contributed to the auction.

My CTE Internship Experience at Whiteclouds

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

By Josh Proulx, senior at Bonneville High School, Weber School District

Throughout my high school education, I have not participated in anything as life changing as the [Work-Based Learning] CTE Internship. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do for my senior internship, but there were so many options—Smith Optics, Body Tune, Fresenius, UDOT, and the list goes on. At first, Smith Optics was high on my list, but then Mr. Meyer (Work-Based Learning Coordinator) called me one day asking if I wanted to checkout a brand new 3D design company called Whiteclouds. I was thrilled to hear of this as a possible outlook for my internship. Mr. Meyer and I set up a date to visit, but we had no idea what was in store. When I walked in the front door and into the showroom, I was blown away. Complex enigmatic mathematical objects surrounded by multicolored skulls upon intricate busts of video game characters and Steampunk creatures. I was absolutely perplexed by the grandeur of the space! At that very moment, I knew that this was the place.

A few days later I was formally listed as an Intern at Whiteclouds. My first day was not what I had anticipated. I arrived at 9:00 a.m. and was tasked with designing two parts. I reengineered both parts in 2 hours and showed them to my mentor, Jess. She was surprised with my capabilities and was happy to give me another assignment of equal or greater difficulty the following session. My very first product project was to reengineer another part. This part was much more difficult and complex. Once I finished with this product, I was informed that my part would be sold on the Whiteclouds website! Upon hearing this news Jess announced that I would be in charge of designing a series of Steampunk parts for Comic Con! Within a week of working at Whiteclouds I was given a product line of my own. My imagination ran free and I wrote down a list of items I could create. For inspiration, Jess introduced me to a website name “Thingiverse.” This website had so many gadgets and gizmos it was incomprehensible. I frequently visit this site now to find inspiration for my designs.

One of my favorite days was the day Jerry Ropelato, CEO of Whiteclouds, came in to establish a design methodology/design process. I contributed to the best of my ability and impressed Mr. Ropelato with a series of design process options. My background in engineering played a major role in my contributions to the methodology. Once we decided upon our structure and labels of each section the Whiteclouds Methodology was established. Mr. Meyer could not have found a better place for me to intern.

I have had an unbelievable time at Whiteclouds and can’t wait to go to Comic Con to show off our capabilities. If my fate keeps me in Utah, I hope to return to Whiteclouds with another perspective to 3D Printing, Prosthetic Development.

Related story:
Utah company wants to bring 3D printing to the masses

Work-Based Learning lets students see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities. If you’re interested in participating in a CTE Internship talk to the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at your school.

FFA: Building a Foundation

Monday, March 17th, 2014

By Courtney Bennett, FFA Ag Awareness Committee Chair, Lehi High School

Food for America is a great program that the Lehi FFA has pride in. The program has been very successful, by placing in the top three at state. The Lehi FFA members had the opportunity, over a course of two days to travel to different elementary schools that feed into Lehi High School, and teach children about agriculture. This year we had the chance to go to Lehi, Meadow, North Point, and Snow Springs elementary schools to teach the first, second, and third grade classes. Belva Parr, from Utah Farm Bureau, has helped our FFA order posters, gathered supplies, and gave us many ideas for new lessons. She stated, “I love watching the students grow an understanding of agriculture. They love what we do, and we enjoy doing this each year.” This year we taught animal science, plant science, and nutrition. The students had the opportunity to rotate from class to class and learn something new.

For the animal science rotation we had students dress up in animal costumes; including a pig, chicken, cow, and a lamb. Each animal had a different script to follow, which helped give the students a common connection.

In the plant science rotation, the students were taught how to make a “living necklace.” A “living necklace” is a seed inside a jewelry bag with a wet cotton ball inside, it slowly grows if it is taken care of. The students were very excited about the idea of growing a corn plant in a jewelry bag. A teacher from North Point Elementary said, “We were really excited to see you guys come for the first time to our school. Our students were very happy and learned a lot of new things, as we did too.”

During the nutrition lesson, students made their own “My Plate” based off the Food Pyramid. They enjoyed putting their favorite foods into the correct categories and learning more about how to maintain a healthy life. A third grade teacher from Meadow Elementary said, “I love seeing the FFA come every year! They always change the lessons they teach, and it is always organized and well planned out. You guys are simply awesome! My students really look up to and admire you!”

We make changes each year in our lessons to improve quality of the teaching, as this is the most important part. It is a great opportunity and a lot of fun to go with friends and teach younger students about agriculture. They get really excited about us coming every year and look forward to joining FFA in their future. It makes us excited to see them so engaged in the activities. We would like to thank the schools and teachers for allowing us to take time out of their day to teach their students more about FFA and agriculture.

This blog was originally published in the Lehi FFA’s March Newsletter, 2014

Garrett Gregory: Student, Designer, and Entrepreneur

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

By Holly Hutchings
Family and Consumer Sciences teacher,
Dixon Middle School, Provo School District
Mrs. Hutchings classroom

I have a boy named Garrett Gregory in my FACS Exploration sewing class. Garrett has been coming to my class regularly, but having a hard time being motivated to learn. He was hesitant about the subject and thought he was too cool to learn how to sew. I talked with Garrett about his ideas and about what he could make in the class. I told him to come up with something that would be interesting to him. He thought about it and asked, “Could I put a printed pocket on a T-shirt.” This is a popular T-shirt style boys are wearing. As Garrett pondered further, he came up with the idea to make these T-shirts and sell them as a business. He is so excited about this idea right now that he is spending every spare moment in my classroom working on his T-shirts. Needless to say, in the process he is gaining so many skills.

“When I started taking this class I didn’t really like the idea because I thought it was a girly class. I liked to sew, but I was sure that it was for girls. . . Then I was trying to think of an idea of what I could do for a project, and I found out that I could make some money by selling these cool shirts to my friends. Then, I got really excited about coming to class so I could get the shirts done,” says Garrett.

Garrett is so excited about his sewing project that he is calling it “his own business.” All of the students in class are talking about Garrett’s project and he has a little group of followers who are helping him and getting excited about the T-shirts he is making. They think it is the coolest thing they have ever seen. Seth Johnson is one of Garrett’s “followers” and is also his assistant. This could very easily be a starting point for Garrett in his lifetime pursuits.

Seth Johnson and Garrett Gregory
wearing the T-shirts Garrett designed.

This has been such an amazing turnaround for Garrett! The central focus of Career and Technical Education (CTE) is to PREPARE STUDENTS FOR CAREERS. Garrett’s experience in this FACS Exploration sewing class has turned into a real-life experience for him, and this is the central purpose of CTE! It has been so awesome to watch wheels turn in Garrett’s mind as he came up with this idea. When he found a way that he could incorporate the “American Dream” in his 8th grade class, he learned real-life skills. Watching Garrett’s motivation shift as he discovered a way to make this subject meaningful to him is exactly what CTE is about. These hands-on experiences are irreplaceable and of utmost importance to our students. This is how our students turn the confusing information that is being thrown at them into reality. Garrett’s example is just one of the many, many CTE success stories I have seen throughout my teaching career.

FCCLA Members Serve Their Local and Global Community

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Over the fall and winter months, FCCLA members [in the Canyon View Junior High FCCLA chapter in Alpine School District]—led by Amelia Jessen and Emily Barker—have been retrofitting donated bee suits for the ASEDA Raw Honey Foundation, which will then distribute the suits to youth beekeeping programs in Utah as well as Ghana, Africa.

Members had a great time removing buttons, pinning and sewing in Velcro (generously donated by Velcro USA) and preparing the suits to ship out with the ASEDA Foundation.

Over 20 FCCLA members have been involved with the project. FCCLA is the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America—the only student led organization with the family as its focus.

This blog was originally published in the Alpine School District News Magazine, March 2014, page 7.

FFA Believes in You

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

By Hunter Siggard, Utah FFA State Treasurer

I hope this message finds everyone doing well, learning daily, and achieving success. With the year coming to close, in the next couple of months, it is an exciting time for many. Seniors are preparing for graduation; others are signing up and preparing for further education and new classes in the fall. Spring sports are beginning and several student clubs and CTSOs are preparing for state conferences and competitions. The FFA is no different. As an organization and state association we are looking forward to the coming months.

Utah FFA chapters are preparing for competitions that will be held in the upcoming months. Several career development event judging practices are going on to assist in preparing students for state judging during April. State judging allows students to put their skills to the test and compete in several contests that help develop their potential for career success. These contests involve many of the animal contests, as well as agricultural mechanics, veterinary science, agricultural communications, marketing, forestry, floriculture, etc. We encourage FFA members to practice seriously and do their best in order to learn the most and compete well at state judging. State judging provides opportunities for members to compete in more hands-on contests involving various aspects of the Agriculture industry, whereas the FFA State Convention provides opportunities to compete in speaking contests.

The FFA State Convention will be held March 13-15 at Utah State University. In January, members competed in area contests and those who were selected to move on are busily preparing to compete at the FFA State Convention for the opportunity to represent Utah at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, Kentucky held October 29-November 1. These contests include: Prepared and Extemporaneous Public Speaking, Creed Speaking, Job Interview, and Parliamentary Procedure. Members not competing will have the opportunity to attend workshops, attend convention sessions, hear from keynote speakers, participate in service projects, and other activities to help members develop premier leadership and personal growth.

As a state officer team we are excited for the events that are right around the corner and for the opportunity we have to interact with FFA members from around this great state. With the year coming to a close we encourage everyone to remain focused and dedicated to their studies in order to maintain eligibility for activities and competitions. All of you are capable of achieving success and as a state officer team and association we believe in you! One of my favorite quotes is, “The difference between good and great is a little extra effort.” I hope that we all put forth that little bit of extra effort to achieve success in every aspect of life. Until next time. . .

President Obama Supports CTE and Career Pathways

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

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

February was Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. All across the country people were celebrating the important contribution that CTE is making to individuals, to communities, to the economy, and to the nation’s labor force as the United States struggles to get its economy moving. The unemployment rate is dropping, but the economy is not growing as fast as it should and one of the reasons is that jobs are still going unfilled because we don’t have enough workers with the skills that are necessary to fill those jobs.

Students graduating from high school today are facing challenges that others who have come before have not faced. Just a few years ago, a high school diploma and a little determination meant a high school graduate could enter many industries and earn a livable wage and launch a career. Today, the chances of that happening are getting slimmer each year.

In the State of the Union address, President Obama indicated that 2014 needed to be year of action, and that our challenge was to help the country to maintain its edge in the global economy. He said, “Here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth, but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams.” The President emphasized that career and technical education training that prepared people for work was the key and that we needed more programs that linked high school programs to college programs where students could learn the skills that employers need.

Part of the answer to the needs of the labor market is to have quality CTE programs. Arne Duncan, the secretary of education recently said, “The president and I believe that high-quality CTE programs are a vital strategy for helping our diverse students complete their secondary and postsecondary studies. In fact, by implementing dual enrollment and early college models, a growing number of CTE Pathways are helping students to fast-track their college degrees.”

More and more CTE Pathways are being developed across the state of Utah. These CTE Pathways when fully developed connect the high school sequence of courses to a postsecondary certificate or degree. Students who are engaged in these CTE Pathways are having great success, and finding careers that are fulfilling and provide good wages. Check out the CTE Pathways that are available in your high school and schedule a meeting with your school counselor. He or she will provide you with information about how the pathway you are interested in pursuing will connect to postsecondary training, education, and to a career.