February is chock full of career and STEM events that can be used to complement your curriculum and expand students’ knowledge. Below is a list of the events along with resources that you can use to participate. Do you know of another February event or a resource for one of the events below? If so, send those to me and I will add them to this post – info at couragion.com.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month® - Month of February
Created by the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), this is a month-long public awareness campaign designed to let schools inform others of their innovation and excellence in CTE and to raise awareness of the role CTE plays in career readiness and national economic success. On the ACTE website, you can find several ideas on how to get involved from doing social media outreach to engaging with policy makers to working with local business leaders. At your school, you can host a CTE demonstration day to attract more students into the program or to share your program’s success with the local community. There are several examples of such events on ACTE’s Success Stories webpage.
National School Counseling Week - February 6 – 10, 2017
The theme for the National School Counseling Week 2017 is "School Counseling: Helping Students Realize Their Potential". This event is sponsored by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) and highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. The ASCA website has resources that focus on publicizing the benefits of school counseling via social media. While this is important, I think it is critical to pair this with student-focused activities during the week. Here are some of our ideas:
- Set aside time for students to do extra career exploration and self-reflection during the week (of course you can use our app to do that).
- Host short workshops that focus on internships or resume writing or college application completion.
- Make a push to get as many students as possible to meet in-person with counselors that week.
- Integrate mind and body wellness activities into the week such as a yoga session or a healthy eating/cooking demonstration.
National Engineers Week - February 19 – 25, 2017
As a former mechanical engineer, I am thrilled that this week-long celebration exists. The organizers cite that the goal of the week is to: a) celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world, b) increase public dialogue about the need for engineers, and c) bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents. Here are several recommendations to help students to explore engineering during the week:
- Expose students to a diverse set of engineering role models. This article features famous African-American engineers while this list highlights Hispanic leaders in technology and business – many of whom are engineers. Our app also features diverse role models – 87% are female and/or people of color. And we cover a broad range of engineering jobs – mechanical, electrical, biomedical, chemical, robotics, etc.
- Teach students about the engineering design process which is helpful for any type of engineering job. NASA has a great resource for this that includes videos and activity guides. Using simple materials and supplies, the NASA lessons help kids to understand critical engineering steps - asking a question, imagining a solution, planning a design, creating that model, experimenting and testing that model, then taking time to improve the original solution.
- Help students explore their own interests and determine what type of engineering fits those interests. Lockheed Martin has a fun quiz that students can complete to determine what type of engineering best suits them. Or, of course, our app enables students to view engineering jobs, complete self-reflections, and then see which jobs are a best-fit for their interests and values.
- Encourage students to use their screen time to view media that is related to engineering. For example, National Geographic has a series called Mega Factories that show viewers how engineers build all types of products from Telsa vehicles to Ikea sofas. Or, Discovery features the show How It’s Made. This series highlights how products are engineered. And with a variety of products from food to bicycles to fabric, students can find something that fits their interests.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day - February 23, 2017
This is a special day set aside to introduce girls to the fascinating world of engineering and to turn them on to engineering & technology careers. DiscoverE has many resources that you can use to celebrate this day:
- A messaging guide with tips on what language to use to help girls think positively about engineering.
- A selection of fun, hands-on engineering activities.
- A role model video featuring an engineering student at Iowa State University.
This event aligns well with our mission of boosting the diversity in STEM – including increasing females that pursue STEM careers. Seventy-Two percent of our role models are female, making our app a perfect resource for girls to use on February 23 and throughout the year.