SummerSTEM Day Three: Chasing Learning

By Elise Saenger-Heyl

Circuits, and 3D printers, and pharmaceuticals, oh my! Today, SummerSTEM partnered with Wake Technical Community College to understand more about some of the careers for which Wake Tech helps prepare students. Examples of these include Agricultural Technology, Welding, Business Administration/Marketing, Electrical Systems Technology, Bio-pharmaceutical Technology, and Business Administration. Educators were able to get hands-on with content, from wiring circuits to participating in a mock Shark Tank pitch to welding. Wake Tech instructors taught some of their content and help educators understand the careers for which their students enter.






Another highlight of this mid-week SummerSTEM synthesis was a presentation by Ashley Cagle from Wake County Economic Development who shared important workforce development/talent pipeline survey data from employers in 10 regional career clauses. Teachers noted great connections and opportunities to emphasize the four C’s – communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking – to prepare students to enter the pipeline. A major takeaway was that teachers and employers need to collaborate to address this important issue. The group discussed how to teach students to take initiative, as this is what employers are seeking most. Valuable takeaways were that educators need to help students move past the fear of failing, to help them move from chasing grades to chasing learning. Teaching students that it is okay, and even has benefits, to fail,can cause radically positive results: a growth mindset!

The message of the day? Collaboration. When we work together – businesses, educators, and students – we can inspire a new generation of leaders, inventors, and change agents.

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