How Hydroponic School Gardens Can Cultivate Food Justice, Year-Round

Originally posted by Robin Lloyd on July 7, 2019 for KUOW.org | Click here to read the original post

After a full day of school a few weeks ago, 12-year-old Rose Quigley donned gloves and quickly picked bunches of fresh lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, mint and oregano. But she didn’t have to leave her school in Brooklyn, N.Y., or even go outdoors to do it.

Quigley is one of dozens of students at Brownsville Collaborative Middle School who in the past year built a high-tech, high-yield farm inside a third-floor classroom. They decided what to grow, then planted seeds and harvested dozens of pounds of produce weekly.

The vegetables never stop coming because the crops are grown hydroponically — indoors, on floor-to-ceiling shelves that hold seedlings and plants sprouting from fiber plugs stuck in trays, each fed by nutrient-enriched water and lit by LED lamps. The students provide weekly produce for their cafeteria’s salad bar and other dishes.

Later that same day, for the first time, Quigley and several of her schoolmates also sold some of their harvest — at a discount from market rates — to community members. It’s part of a new weekly “food box” service set up in the school’s foyer. Each of 34 customers receive an allotment of fresh produce intended to feed two people for a week. Three students, paid as interns, used digital tablets to process orders, while peers handed out free samples of a pasta salad featuring produce from the farm.

Quigley’s passion for farming stems from Teens for Food Justice, a 6-year-old nonprofit organization that has worked with community partners to train students at Brownsville Collaborative and two other schools in low-income neighborhoods in New York City to become savvy urban farmers and consumers.

Originally posted by Robin Lloyd on July 7, 2019 for KUOW.org | Click here to read the original post

CTE in the news: Students in Tech Say Soft Skills and the Arts Set Them Up for Success

Originally posted by Emily Tate on June 12, 2019 on Edsurge.com | Click here to read the original post

WASHINGTON, D.C. — When Dolica Gopisetty was applying for summer internships earlier this year, employers kept telling her that what they valued most in potential hires was strong communication skills and a willingness to learn new things.

And when Nathan Wallace was transitioning from college to the workforce a few months ago, he noticed a similar trend. “A lot of employers are looking for a well-rounded individual with multiple skills, including the ability to communicate effectively,” he said, adding that a penchant for experimentation came up a lot, too.

Gopisetty and Wallace are both in highly technical fields. She’s pursuing an information technology degree, with a focus on cloud computing, at Virginia’s George Mason University, and he’s a recent graduate of Georgetown University’s master’s program in technology management. Yet despite these technical backgrounds, Gopisetty and Wallace, along with four other students speaking on a panel at the AWS Public Sector Summit in Washington, D.C. this week, praised their experiences in the arts and the importance of soft skills as key to setting them up for success in their respective fields.

Click here to read the original post, which was published on Edsurge.com on June 12

Lessons On Career & Technical Education From America’s Oldest Trade School

Originally posted by Frederick Hess on June 18, 2019 on Forbes.com | Click here to read the original post

The nation is suffused in enthusiastic talk about career and technical education. Policymakers ranging from President Trump to Joe Biden to Bernie Sanders have called for more schooling that can equip students for in-demand, middle-class jobs. Well, a lot of the discussion is driven by advocates, academics, and elected officials. It seems useful to ask those with a track record of actually doing this work what they think.

Enter Sarah Turner, the president of North Bennet Street School (NBSS), a 138-year-old trade school in Boston. The school enrolls students from age 18 to 70, with a mix of high school grads, veterans, and white-collar professionals. A Fulbright Fellow who has studied Dutch contemporary applied art, Turner comes to the trades as an artist—giving her an intriguing perspective on the whole thing.

Click here to read the original post, which written by Frederick Hess on June 18 for Forbes.com

How I Found My Passion Through CTE

Originally posted by Dioselina De La Cruz on February 19, 2019 on “Homeroom,” the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education | Click here to read the original post

It was during my freshman year of high school when I first realized that STEM was not the career pathway I wanted to pursue. While I understood the importance of a strong foundation in STEM fundamentals, my real passion was business.

My story starts my freshman year of high school in Pharr, a south Texas border town. I applied to a STEM school in my district which had a reputation for academic excellence. I was accepted, and my family was ecstatic. Being the youngest of six sisters in a family of humble migrant farm workers, I grew up in the fields, worked hard and believed in the opportunities a good education could bring.

Click here to read the original post, which was published on “Homeroom,” the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education, on February 19, 2019

CTE in the News: Gilbert schools give students job opportunities

By Tom Blodgett | Originally posted on May 29, 2019 in The Gilbert Community News | Click here to read the original article

From freshman orientation, Parker Ferguson took an interest in the offerings of the agriscience and engineering class at Highland High School. Three years later, the 17-year-old junior has stuck with it, learned to weld, earned two internships and sold pieces he made at the school and at the county fair.“I like the freedom and that I get to work with my hands,” Ferguson said. “Mr. [Curtis] Willems teaches us how to use all of the tools and the proper safety procedures, and then he sets us loose, and we get to build whatever projects we want.”

Ferguson plans to pursue a precision manufacturing degree after high school and use that to get a job in computer numerical control manufacturing. Such a path makes Ferguson an example of the value of career and technical education, or CTE, offered in Gilbert’s high schools.

Click here to read the original article, which was posted on May 29 in the Gilbert Community News.

CTE in the News: Local school systems provide easy path to meet demand for trade jobs

by Marlys Mason | Originally posted on May 27, 2019 in The Owensboro Times | Click here to read the original article

Daviess County and Owensboro Public Schools know that not all students need a four-year, liberal arts degree to find success in the workplace. The leaders in both districts have collaborated to create a Community Campus, which offers high school students opportunities in industrial and other technical fields that can put them in high demand in the labor market upon graduation.

Local companies and factories are providing opportunities for technical students to pre-apprentice in order to help students become skilled workers, filling positions during worker shortages.

“Reigniting interest in technical careers is imperative due to the expected growth in these sectors and forecasted retirements,” said Stacy Edds-Ellis, Owensboro Community and Technical College’s Dean of Academic Affairs.

OPS Superintendent Nick Brake said that his mantra is that 14 is the new 12, meaning 12 years of education will not provide the necessary requirements for acquiring a job that will provide the income needed in the U.S.

“College is not for everyone, but students cannot be content with a high school diploma,” Brake said.

DCPS Superintendent Matt Robbins agrees and said he believes a district’s goal is to prepare students for success and “provide the keys to unlock the door to the future by ensuring all students are truly college and career ready.”

Click here to read the original article, which was posted on March 27, 2019 in The Owensboro Times

State Funding Enables Community Programs to Give MN High School Students Valuable Job Training Opportunities

In January, five community programs throughout the state of Minnesota were awarded $95,000 in grant funding to develop and implement paid learning opportunities for 16- and 17-year-old students. The funding came from the Youth Skills Training Program at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (YST@DLI), which was created in 2017 with funding from the Minnesota legislature (Minn. Stat. 175.46) to help communities create local programs that give high school students exposure, training, certifications and paid work experience in five high-demand, high-growth industries: advanced manufacturing, agriculture, automotive, health care and information technology.

To be successful, local programs rely on connections between industry and education to ensure student experience is meaningful and relevant. Five pilot programs were awarded grants last year to develop paid learning opportunities in manufacturing, health care and information technology; this year, programs in Elk River, Hutchinson, Marshall, Red Wing, St. Paul, White Bear Lake and Winona will enable students in 27 school districts to get paid work experience in manufacturing and health care.

“Employers throughout the state are reporting an increasing number of unfilled positions in high-paying jobs that require a certification or two-year degree and describe significant challenges to find qualified and trainable employees to fill these skilled positions,” said Rich Wessels, Youth Skills Training Program Senior Project Manager. “The YST program is a way to address this issue by connecting industry with education to provide students with opportunities to learn about and gain hands-on experience.”

Click here to read the complete article, which was originally published in April 2019 on ACTE’s IndustryConnect blog.

Coding Grant Helps North Carolina Students Explore In-Demand Career Options

In Beaufort County, North Carolina, programmers are in high demand. Job forecasts conducted by local workforce development boards show a 94% growth rate for programming jobs among 27 eastern NC counties from 2016-2021; programming skills, along with tooling, machine and drone operation skills, have been among the most in-demand job skills listed by local and regional manufacturing businesses for three straight years.

When Beaufort County Schools (BCS) saw an opportunity to fund an extension of the district’s coding program into K-12 classrooms across the district and at the local community college, administrators didn’t hesitate to apply. Last fall, North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson announced that 16 school districts, including Beaufort County, had been awarded grants totaling $800,000 through the second round of the Coding and Mobile App Development Grant Program, which was launched in 2017 with funding from the state’s general assembly.

“BCS’s strategic STEM plan, the use of Digital Learning Competencies training, and the injection of real-world needs provided through our advisory process and partnerships with our local industries produced the perfect conditions for synergy around STEM including coding,” said Wendy Petteway, BCS Career and Technical Education Department Director. “We needed to expand beyond where we were and extend coding into K-12 across the district and at Beaufort County Community College, and the coding grant has provided the opportunity for that expansion.”

Click here to read the entire article, which was originally posted in ACTE’s IndustryConnect blog in March 2019.

Indiana High School Prepares Students for Success in Pharmacy Technology

It’s no secret: Healthcare workers are in high demand. Ten of the top 20 fastest-growing occupations nationwide are in health care; certified nursing assistants, physical therapists and nurse practitioners are among the most sought-after (United States Department of Labor, 2018).

Across the country, CTE instructors are doing great things in the classroom to prepare students for in-demand careers. They’re collaborating with industry and workforce development representatives; they’re securing certification opportunities; and they’re providing unique hands-on learning experiences that engage today’s youth in high-demand, high-skilled, high-paying jobs. The pharmacy technician program at the Area 31 Career Center at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, is one such example.

Click here to read the entire article, whicih was originally published on ACTE’s PAGES blog in January 2019.

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