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Icon for: Sharon Gusky

SHARON GUSKY

Northwestern Connecticut Community College

Engaging Students from Classrooms and Camps to College and Technical Careers

NSF Awards: 1801062

2020 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Undergraduate

Our project introduces middle and high school students to technical skills and careers and creates a pathway into the technical workforce. Middle and High School teachers work with Community College professors and Industry partners to develop opportunities that provide  their students with exposure to technical careers.  Community college students provide mentoring and tutoring support to the middle and high schools students.  Working together we are able to engage students from classrooms and camps to college and technical careers.

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Original Discussion from the 2020 STEM For All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 4, 2020 | 06:27 p.m.

    Thank you for visiting our page and viewing our video. We hope this video gives you some ideas about how we engaged the middle school, high school, and college  students in technical career exploration.  Our college students enjoyed talking about their roles in our project. 

    One of our main goals is to provide 7th-12th grade students with exposure to technician education and careers so that they can make informed decisions.

    We are in the second year of our project. During year one we measured increases in students interest in STEM careers using pre and post surveys. Some of the activities we provided for students included visits from STEM industry partners and visits to industry sites and visits to the college for Experience STEM College Days. We found that 58% of the students participating in our program self-reported an increased interest in STEM careers. While 2% reported a decrease in interest, the remaining students did not report a change in interest. We found that the industry connection and presence helped students see the possibility of a STEM-based career and the industry partners felt that the students had a better understanding of their company and the careers they offer.

    How do you bring industry and students together?

  • Icon for: Mercy Mugo

    Mercy Mugo

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 04:57 p.m.

    Intriguing project! How do you track project success across these key transition points especially given the leaky educational pipeline?

  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 6, 2020 | 09:31 a.m.

    We are just in year two so we are just starting the tracking process.  The school district does the tracking for us from middle to high school. They also help with track students who go directly into the workforce. The college tracks the students entering from high school and through their college career.  

  • Icon for: Jeremy Roschelle

    Jeremy Roschelle

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 12:21 p.m.

    Hi Sharon,

    This seems like such important work on the ground to broaden the pipeline -- really connecting to the possible futures. I can see how it will work strongly for those students who are lucky to be directly involved. I wondering what we all might learn from this project for other places who might want to learn from your approach in creating their own. Could you gaze into the crystal ball for me, and imagine what the lessons or tools for other places might emerge from your work, say 5 years from now? 

    jeremy

     

  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 6, 2020 | 03:21 p.m.

    I think making the connections between the industry partners and the middle and high school students and teachers is an important piece of the project. Ways to  build those connections would be one tool that could be shared.  The teachers are also developing real world industry based lesson plans that can be shared with other people.

  • Icon for: Gerhard Salinger

    Gerhard Salinger

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 12:23 p.m.

    The issue of how to engage industry in a meaningful way pervades many projects.  I am not sure that people from industry have the vocabulary to make clear their requirements for technicians in terms that can provide guidance on classroom issues.  Also there is a long time period between middle schoool and the workplace - about as long as from kindergarten to middle school.  Perhaps the community college students as nearer peers can help bridge the gap.  Perhaps the gap can be bridged by showing how certain topics or cometemcies are in fact germane to technician careers.   Do you have some short term goals on whcih to base success?      

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Michael I. Swart
  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 6, 2020 | 03:24 p.m.

    Thank  you for that insight. Yes, we are using the college students to bridge the gap and the college students  also get a lot  out of the interactions with the middle school students. Our college students have been tutoring math at the middle school and one short term goal is an improvement in math skills and an increased interest in STEM classes and activities. We are starting to see both of these.

  • Icon for: Gerhard Salinger

    Gerhard Salinger

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 04:57 p.m.

    I have been working with others on a project to determine the mathematics skillls, competencies and reasoning needed by technicians in the workplace.  Are the community college students able to bring some insight to the middle school students about why they need to learn certain mathematics?    

  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 6, 2020 | 07:00 p.m.

    There is some of that exchange between the students and the teacher has implemented 3D printing and robotics projects so the students get to see math being applied in those too.  From what I hear from the college students, the middle school students have lots of questions about community college and the types of career paths that are available.  

  • May 8, 2020 | 11:16 a.m.

    Great project! It is better to prepare students before they start college.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Sharon Gusky
  • May 8, 2020 | 01:00 p.m.

    A great program of opportunities for students to experience STEM applications.  Looking forward to the tracking data to evaluate the larger impact of this program in the longer trajectories of participating students and their endeavors into STEM!

      

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Sharon Gusky
  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 8, 2020 | 01:25 p.m.

    Thank you, yes we are looking forward to that too.

  • May 8, 2020 | 02:54 p.m.

    What are some of the ways this work has enhanced the relationships between middle schools / high schools and industry partners? 

  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 8, 2020 | 07:59 p.m.

    After the industry partners visited the high schools and gave presentations to the students, some of them continued to work with the high school teachers. One of the companies had an employee teach a soldering class at the high school and another company provided a mentor to the STEM club so they could make biodegradable cell phone cases for a competition. Three of the companies hosted middle and high school teachers over the summer. The teachers spent a week in the company learning about what they do and the different careers they offer.

  • Small default profile

    Amanda Buckley

    May 11, 2020 | 02:01 p.m.

    This is an amazing and much-needed project!  As a former manufacturing engineer turned math professor and now instructional designer, this is a fantastic way to get students excited about STEM and the many possibilities for careers.  WELL DONE!! :)

  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2020 | 02:02 p.m.

    Thank you, Amanda. It is also a lot of fun for all involved.

  • Icon for: Meena Balgopal

    Meena Balgopal

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2020 | 07:15 p.m.

    What an important project! Thank you for sharing. Connecting community college students to secondary students allows some important mentoring relationships to be built. Have any of the middle/high school students stayed in contact with the community college students after their "formal" relationship had ended? If you don't know this, it might be something to keep track of as you move forward.

  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2020 | 07:22 p.m.

    Thank you for your comment and questions, Meena.   In Connecticut we have very strict regulations in K-12 so the Community College students can only tutor/mentor when there is a teacher present and cannot contact the students outside of the classroom setting. We cannot have any mechanism in place for them to stay in touch. And unfortunately by the time the students come to the CC, the CC students tutoring or mentoring them will have moved on.

  • Icon for: Meena Balgopal

    Meena Balgopal

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2020 | 07:38 p.m.

    that makes sense! It just seems like a nice opportunity for an older student to mentor younger ones. Thanks for explaining.

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

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