The game of life requires proper preparation. So when does that preparation begin? College and career readiness at the middle school level might seem a bit outrageous at first. Asking a 11- to 13-year-old to map out their path or to select a career or passion might seem unimaginable. But is it really too much to expect?
Actually, no. It’s the perfect place to begin studying options in earnest. “Research has identified middle school as a time when students can benefit the most from career exploration, a process of building self-awareness, learning about potential careers, and developing a plan for reaching future goals.” (ACTEonline.org)
In short, this is where continued-education readiness (the four-year, two-year, and technical levels) and career readiness can begin to take root. Students are on the outer cusp of defining their preference for STEM fields and building on their natural preferences. It’s a critical point in the academic journey at which engagement can experience a significant drop-off. Hands-on exploration and tactical application of knowledge aids in keeping students’ interest. It’s not necessarily all about the subject mastery. It’s also about fostering the skills, habits, and dispositions needed for advanced education and achievement in the workforce in a world that changes rapidly.
We believe today’s students need the following 21st-century skills:
- Critical thinking
These abilities and characteristics are employability skills. These are the skills that transcend position requirements. These are the skills every employment scenario can utilize. Plus, these skills aren’t just something to use in the future; they’re life skills that help students attain success in the present – in their school and personal lives. This means they’re ready for a lifetime of learning and working.
But you might be wondering, how in the world does this happen in a middle school classroom? Well, with you. And us. Together.
Middle school STEM and CTE programs have been our specialty for decades. With the help of educators across the county, we revolutionized systemic STEM education in the early ’90s with our Modules program, learning what works best for teachers and students and keeping up with changes in technology along the way.
We recently released a new curriculum, Career Expeditions. It dovetails nicely with our earlier STEM Expeditions® option. Both are geared toward Grades 6-9. With Expeditions, students are immersed in a collaborative experience, seeking to answer an Essential Question through hands-on discovery and experimentation.
Expeditions are flexible and active, blending teacher-led instruction with student-directed activities through a cloud-based learning content management system. Students from all walks of life experience success through our unique open-ended multimodal instructional design. It’s a win-win.
Learn more about what Expeditions can do for your students. Let’s get them future ready.