New SkillsUSA Resource Helps Elementary School Students Explore STEM Careers

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Jump Into STEM! Explores 22 Careers

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Jump Into STEM! allows students to begin having career conversations, and it could spark their interest in a specific career sooner

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.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to: http://www.SkillsUSA.org.

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Jane Short
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