Technical, Technology, STEM Education, March 9, 2018

 

 

 
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In this issue

  • Honor Student Wants to Skip College, Go to Trade School, Parents Stumped
  • States are Passing More Policies to Help Americans Jump Start Careers
  • Inspiring Students to Pursue STEM Education Through Robotics
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Honor Student Wants to Skip College, Go to Trade School, Parents Stumped

Raelee Nicholson earns A's in her honors classes at a public high school south of Pittsburgh and scored in the 88th percentile on her college boards. But instead of going to college, Ms. Nicholson hopes to attend a two-year technical program that will qualify her to work as a diesel mechanic. Her guidance counselor, two teachers and several other adults tell her she's making a mistake. 

"My dentist told me to (work on cars) as a hobby, but she kept telling me with my potential I should really go to college," said Ms. Nicholson, a junior at Charleroi Area High School in western Pennsylvania.

The friction around the best path forward after high school is popping up around the country as anxious students and families try to figure out how to pay for four years of college. At the same time, business groups and state governments make the case for a free or much cheaper vocational education. 

 

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States are Passing More Policies to Help Americans Jump Start Careers

More than five million high school and college-aged people in this country are neither in school nor working. Meanwhile, more than half of companies nationwide report that they have jobs they can't find qualified workers to fill. Thankfully, states and industry partners have recognized this disconnect and are taking action.

A recent analysis by Education Strategy Group showed that education leaders in 49 states included a variety of strategies to increase career readiness among their students in their state action plans. Additionally, according to a recent report from Advance CTE and The Association for Career and Technical Education, in 2017, those same 49 states and the District of Columbia passed a total of 241 career readiness policies, 

 

 

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Inspiring Students to Pursue STEM Education Through Robotics

Dan Matz had a vision for a robotics program that encouraged students to take to STEM fields and become engineers and skilled technicians. He's now achieving it as the CEO of the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation.

"We want to change the world by inspiring young people to pursue degrees and careers in STEM fields," Matz said. 

The foundation partners with VEX Robotics to provide curriculum and robotics competitions in over 50 countries. There are 19,000 Vex robotic teams worldwide and 2000 competitions that reach 200,000 students. Classroom programs reach another 800,000 worldwide.

A longtime believer in robotics education, Matz

 

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