The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.
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Earlier this year, we launched a contest on our hashtag-loving social channels, challenging our valued VariQuest customers to post pictures of their fantastic creations, made with the help of the VariQuest Suite. What we found was the affirmation that your creativity knows no bounds, and the ideas you come up with are making your school a better place. The contest, which ended in September, produced three wonderful winners, and we'd like to show you what they've been up to!
Career and Technical Education (CTE) may have taken a backseat during the isolation of the pandemic, with less opportunities for collaboration and hands-on learning, but the possibilities of futures for these students are still unlimited, and our responsibilities as educators to help them fulfill those have not changed. As we at VariQuest feel passionately about preparing students for their futures and full potentials, we've gathered together some resources to help you not only build a successful CTE program, but continue its evolution as industries and times change.
This helpful guide includes an explanation of the grant process, including a checklist (with samples!), and useful links and resources to find funding!
With an emphasis on CTE programs in schools on the rise, so too are student-based enterprises - where students can brainstorm ideas, design and develop products, market their offerings, monitor inventory, balance finances, and nurture patronage - covering many of the 16 Career Clusters and developing students' real world skills. Such is the case at Higgins Middle School in Peabody, Massachusetts, where the students are tasked with running a multi-service print shop fully equipped with VariQuest® Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools.
As more and more schools expand their curriculum offerings to include Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs spanning the 16 Career Clusters, the need for resources to help these students has grown along with it. One of these clusters, obviously close to our hearts at VariQuest, is the Education & Training pathway - so along with supporting educators who facilitate this goal with students, we also want to support those students considering a career in the industry! So - do you have an Early Education Program with your secondary students? Or maybe you're a Pre-K or Kindergarten teacher looking for activities to help students learn about numbers and counting? We've got a free lesson plan for you, aligned with Common Core Math Standard K.CC.A.1-5: "Counting Strategies: Build a Fruit Basket!"
20, 15, even 10 years ago - when you thought about Career and Technical Education (CTE), you would picture a wood shop or auto mechanics class at a high school. But things have changed, and CTE isn't your dad's trade training anymore. Career & Technical Education Programs built for the 21st Century look drastically different - with schools building skill-development for many real-world jobs such as engineering, graphic design, teaching, business management, and so much more. The goal is achieving what schools have always worked towards - preparing students for college or careers - but this broader spectrum is geared towards a new kind of learner.
CTE programs are built for students to learn their coursework by applying their knowledge to real-world scenarios, prepping them for future education or careers. The Career Academy (TCA) in Lincoln, Nebraska is an exemplary model for this. A collaborative effort between Southeast Community College and the Lincoln Public School District, high school juniors and seniors are invited to attend the academy for two hours each day during the regular school year, participating in high school and dual-credit courses through 16 different career pathways, while taking the rest of their classes at their “home” high school. Upon graduation, students are better-prepared to enter the workforce, work towards a certificate in their chosen field, or continue on to college – taking their career course credits with them. Thanks to an anonymous gift from a generous donor, Southeast Community College purchased the VariQuest suite of tools for TCA and through various activities, they’ve been able to fill the walls of classrooms and support various career pathways; preparing students for whatever endeavor their future holds….
Despite being 18 years into the new millennium, we hear a lot about "21st Century Learning Environments" these days, as schools are struggling to adapt to meet the needs of a new kind of learner - one who is constantly immersed in technology, and thus needs engaging, hands-on activities to feel connected to the real-life, real-world. With this in mind, we've created a 6-step checklist to help you assess building new, or enhancing your current CTE program, based on tactics our customers have implemented, as proof these techniques really work. For example...