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Archive for the ‘College and Career Ready’ Category

Meet Casey Boyer: New Teacher at a New School (But That Was Last Year)

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Casey Boyer started college thinking that he would become a mechanical engineer, but luckily for Nebo District, he changed his course to complete a degree in education. He acknowledged that his decision was influenced by his former Westside Elementary teacher who recognized his potential before he did. Mr. Boyer was excited by the prospect of helping to open Salem Junior High School last year, and has returned this fall a bit more confident, experienced, and knowledgeable about both his students and his subject matter.

Mr. Boyer teaches CTE Intro and Manufacturing courses. Objectives for these courses are expressed in “I Can” statements, for example, “I CAN recognize processes and technology in engineering, manufacturing and construction.” (See the full lists of the statements for his courses: CTE Intro and Manufacturing and Exploring Technology.)  He works diligently to assure that his students achieve these objectives, and he enjoys seeing them learn more about themselves and about the world of work. He noted that there is quite a range of development for the students in his CTE-Intro classes. He has a couple of students who already have well-developed career interests, with solid plans about how to prepare for specific occupations, while others have a very limited scope of what is possible, and still others see vast possibilities, but are in no way prepared to identify even a broad area of career interest. From Mr. Boyer’s viewpoint, that’s the beauty of CTE Intro; it is a curriculum that has something for every student – even if it’s simply a confirmation of something they do not want to do when they grow up!


Meet Lisa Panek, Career and Technical Education Teacher Extraordinaire

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Lisa Panek began her teaching career in Idaho, but is happy to be in Utah, where all seventh graders take the CTE Intro class. She recognizes the great advantage that this class offers students to learn more about themselves and how their interests and other characteristics might be supported by various occupations. Ms. Panek also appreciates the hands-on nature of CTE, and says that students may learn as much from the learning activities they hate as from the ones they love. Ms. Panek admitted to being somewhat anxious about facilitating the Technology and Engineering (T&E) activities in CTE Intro, but after participating in the CTE summer conferences, she’s feeling confident and excited about the T&E days. She thinks every student in the country should have the opportunity to take a class like CTE Intro!

In addition to the three classes of CTE Intro that she teaches at Mountainville Academy, Ms. Panek also teaches Computer Technology, Business Digital Literacy, and Keyboarding Applications. Her Classroom Page reflects a firm grasp of digital strategies that can be used to communicate with students, parents and the community at large. Ms. Panek enjoys promoting student success during the school day and beyond. She invites students to email her, and looks for other ways to use technology to keep in touch with and to motivate her students.

Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Two of the Pathways in the Skilled and Technical Sciences area are the Television Broadcasting Technician Pathway, and the Radio Broadcast Technician Pathway. Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate and maintain the electrical equipment for radio and television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings and movies and in offices and school buildings. Most broadcast and sound engineering technicians have an associate degree or vocational certification. The Utah Department of Workforce Services provides state data for “Broadcast Technicians,” revealing that 10 job openings statewide are expected each year from 2010-2020 – an average employment growth rate. National data for this occupation and many others can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  You can also view two YouTube videos about television broadcast—“educational requirements” and “behind the scenes” occupations—that was presented at the UtahCTE Work-Based Learning Conference.


Meet Patti Smith…Teaching Business and More at Orem Junior High School

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

It was one of the first days of a new school year at Orem Junior High, but one would never know it from walking into this classroom. Patti Smith had her CTE Intro students fully engaged in a “Real Game” activity. Students were online to view career profiles, then sharing information with a partner, and then were up out of their seats and mingling with all the other students in the class to find out – as they took on their career roles – who made the most money, who had the best working conditions, who had to complete the most years of college, and more. With the ease of a practiced conductor, Patti Smith orchestrated the whole activity and assured that all 28 students (and this is her smallest class!) were on task and getting the information they need to fully participate in the “Real Game” over several days.

Patti Smith is a teacher who takes on the challenges of teaching junior high with enthusiasm. Her knowledge of this developmental stage informs her teaching style – playful but caring, and highly interactive. In addition to CTE Intro, Patti teaches Computer Technology and Keyboarding. Her students will acquire content knowledge and skills, but will also learn to work effectively in teams, build a positive attitude toward work, and develop many other “soft skills” that are in demand today.


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.

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)

CTE Internship: An Awesome Experience

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Nathan Sherman, a student at Timpview High School, shares how completing a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathway prepared him for life after high school—college and career.

“I think that the most valuable thing I learned was from my internship. It taught me all about [what] a professional work environment really is [like] and it put me in situations where I was forced to learn and cooperate with different people from different backgrounds in the workplace. It was an awesome experience.”

If you’re interested in participating in an internship talk to the CTE Work-Based Learning coordinator at your school.

Occupations in Information Technology (IT)

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

IT workers are found in occupations with a computer-related focus. These occupations are found in nearly every organization, and not only are they in demand, they also pay higher than average wages. So how do you get started in an IT career? General computer literacy is a must, and more specific skills like wireless networking, familiarity with information security, problem-solving, and attention to detail are also important. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor’s degree is the usual educational qualification for the occupations listed in the table below. However, by linking to actual Utah job openings listed for these occupational titles, you will find that many employers are willing to work with students who have developed some technical expertise. For example, a link from Software Developer, Applications reveals a current job listing for a Junior Software Tester that invites students to apply. Similarly, Software Developers, Systems Software has a link to an opening for a Java Developer, for which the education level is “high school diploma,” though there are a number of high level skills needed in order to apply.

High school students who pursue an IT Pathway will most certainly have a competitive edge as they search for entry level jobs and apply to colleges. Learn about the opportunities for scholarships and student leadership development through your CTE Pathway participation. You can also read more about IT occupations, helpful certifications, and IT professional organizations in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly.



Interns in Action!

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

By Cher Burbank, Kearns High School Work-Based Learning Specialist

Last month I took five student interns on a field trip to the newly built, state-of-the-art Adobe Headquarters located just past the point of the mountain in Lehi. Utah. The visit to Adobe was in conjunction with SHIFT (Spy Hop Institute For Teachers), a digital media professional development non-profit organization, established in 2006, that trains educators on how to integrate the filmmaking process and other digital storytelling techniques into educational settings. Throughout the year I have been involved in the SHIFT program and have used the digital media strategies, resources, and tools with my students.

Left to right: Elizabeth Warner, Autumn Schley,
Chandra Carlson, Hailie Blatnick, and Ammon Asato

In my classroom, students use Adobe Premiere Elements to produce a six-word memoir about what career they are interested in. The six-word memoir is a scaffolding exercise that gets students writing in a concise format and turning the prose into a visual tale. It’s also a malleable way to delve into software, creating a short movie using stills, narration, and text.

Teachers from across the state of Utah who are involved with SHIFT took their students to Adobe for the review and critique of their media projects. In total, 60 middle school and high school teachers and students visited Adobe, where a handful of Adobe volunteers watched and reviewed the students’ work in preparation for a big-screen event at the downtown Salt Lake City Library in late May. The projects ranged from graphic illustrations and photographs, to short documentary films and PSAs. The students were also a part of the “critical review process,” learning how to look at media critically and give feedback to peers in a constructive and meaningful way.

Ammon Asato, a senior at Kearns High School, said, “We learned how to use positive reinforcement to critique other’s work. The [Adobe] building is awesome, I would go there again. It’s good that Adobe is close to home and that they work with our schools.”

Being in the Adobe building was a highlight. The students ate it up and enjoyed their tour, free pizza (in an immaculate and very “green” cafe area) and the attention from other teachers and Adobe employees to their work authenticated the experience. It was also a great eye opener to endless career possibilities, and a motivator for these students to rework their projects in light of the feedback and in preparation the final exhibition. We are all looking forward to seeing their final products, knowing that their commitment to the digital media-making process was what got them there. The event in May should be a great showing of commitment and collaboration.