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New Resource Helps Elementary School Students Explore STEM Careers

SkillsUSA has announced the release of a new resource that encourages high-school students to mentor younger students on possible career paths. Its Jump Into STEM! program provides tools and activities for SkillsUSA members to help elementary-age participants take part in interactive career experiences. Whether a younger student wants to be an architect or an electrician, a social media specialist or a computer programmer, an industrial designer or an airline pilot, there is information on a possible career for the future. With this groundbreaking new program, SkillsUSA members are bridging the gap between elementary-age students and careers related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

The Jump Into STEM! curriculum provides 22 interactive sessions — two for each of 11 different career clusters — which identify the knowledge and training needed to pursue a specific career goal. During the sessions, SkillsUSA members introduce themselves, present an activity and share information on career clusters and occupations. Jump into STEM! is organized to make facilitation simple, with information that will engage participants in intentional learning, a persistent, continual process of making learning a goal in itself.

 “We are excited to bring this new resource into elementary schools because it helps shine a light on career and technical education in the community,” says Tim Lawrence, SkillsUSA executive director. “Jump Into STEM! allows students to begin having career conversations, and it could spark their interest in a specific career sooner. The program also gives our SkillsUSA members the opportunity to practice public speaking and facilitation skills, which helps in the development of both personal and workplace skills.”

The new program, sponsored by State Farm Insurance Companies, is launching through SkillsUSA’s 4,000 chapters nationwide. Any SkillsUSA chapter can use the resource, which has been provided to chapter advisors as part of membership. Elementary schools can contact their local SkillsUSA chapter to ask that the program be presented, either as a STEM career festival with rotating sessions, or as a series of sessions held on several different days.

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