12 Excellent STEM Education Resources for High School Counselors

National School Counseling Week 2015, observed Feb. 2-6, is a commemoration highlighting the contributions of professional school counselors in our country’s school systems.

In celebration of this event, PLTW has compiled a list of 12 helpful science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education resources for counseling professionals. Read on to learn more.

1.      Innovation Portal

Developed by the nation’s leading STEM educators, the Innovation Portal is a free, open, and secure tool for all K-16 students, teachers, and project mentors that enables students to showcase their original projects and engineering design portfolios and share this work with mentors, universities, and businesses.

Students use the Innovation Portal to:

  • Organize, document, and store password-protected work within multiple project portfolios in a single online account.
  • Control access to their work by inviting teachers or professionals to score their work, provide reviews, and offer feedback as their work progresses.
  • Create an original project around a powerful template and connect that project with opportunities, including college admissions, internships, and competitions.

Visit innovationportal.org to learn more.

2.      STEM Premier

STEM Premier is an online networking platform – similar to LinkedIn – where high school and college students can showcase projects, skills, and academic experiences for prospective schools and employers.

Students can include a range of elements on their STEM Premier profiles, from data points like GPA and test scores to more creative elements like project documents and videos.

3.      The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) Guide to Engineering Colleges

NACME offers a free, in-depth guide to engineering colleges that includes enrollment details, admissions figures, and tuition information of listed institutions. Furthermore, the guide outlines types of engineering careers, sources for financial aid, a timeline for applying to college, and more.

To download the resource, click through to NACME’s website, scroll down to “High School Students,” and click “Guide to Engineering Colleges (English and Spanish).” From there, simply agree to the privacy policy and enter your email address to access the document.

To view additional NACME publications and resources, visit nacme.org.

4.      HOSA-Future Health Professionals Career Learning Center

The HOSA-Future Health Professionals Career Learning Center includes a number of career and professional development tips in both video and PDF formats.

Furthermore, aspiring and current health professionals have access to thousands of job listings through the HOSA Career Center and can opt in to receive alerts when new jobs are posted to the board.

5.      National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Counselors for Computing (C4C)

C4C provides counseling professionals with resources and support related to education and careers in computing. Materials on the C4C webpage include computing education and career talking points, a computer science-focused counselor lesson plan, and pathway documents that illustrate a variety of tracks that can lead to computing careers.

6.      PLTW Website

A number of resources are available on pltw.org.

The Student Opportunities page outlines a variety of STEM-related student opportunities from organizations such as Certiport, Autodesk, Technovation, the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation, and more. Opportunities include academic competitions, student organization activities, discounted industrial certification, and scholarships.

Visit the Student Opportunities page for the most up-to-date listings.

In addition, postsecondary institutions recognize PLTW students in a variety of ways. Check with individual schools – especially PLTW Affiliates, using the College and University Affiliate Locator tool – for information on recognition opportunities they offer to PLTW students.

7.      National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) Focus on Counselors Initiative

Visit NAPE’s website for resources including research-based workshops, webinars, and a toolkit to aid counselors in introducing a number of STEM careers and opportunities to students using positive and effective messaging.

8.      American School Counselor Association (ASCA) | Professional Development

The Professional Development section of the ASCA website is an excellent resource for a number of learning opportunities. Here, counselors can access information on trainings and conferences, as well as a webinar series covering topics like “Preparing All Students for Post-Secondary Success through Comprehensive School Counseling Programs” and “Cybersecurity: A Shared Responsibility.”

The next STEM-specific ASCA webinar ­– “STEM Careers for Every Student” – features speaker Meagan Pollock, Ph.D., the director of professional development for the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity. This webinar is on May 14, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET.

9.      BigFuture by The College Board | Educator Resource Center

The website for BigFuture by The College Board is an incredibly robust college- and career-planning resource for all students, as well as their parents/guardians and school counselors.

In the Educator Resource Center section of the site, counseling professionals can find free on-demand webinars on topics such as financial aid and college selection; informational handouts, in both Spanish and English, on subjects like college planning and the value of higher education; and more.

10.   SkillsUSA Career and Assessment Programs

SkillsUSA – a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce – offers a variety of career and assessment programs for middle school, high school, and postsecondary students. The Professional Development Program (PDP) is a tool to help high school students develop the skills they need to transition to the workforce or higher education. The program guides students through 76 employability skill activities and includes self-assessments to communications skills, ethics, conflict resolution, government awareness, time-management skills, career research and more.

11.   PLTW Alumni Association

Registration for the Project Lead The Way Alumni Association is open to all past and current students who have completed two or more PLTW courses. Membership in the alumni association provides opportunities for alumni to volunteer, network with industry professionals, participate in PLTW events and STEM initiatives, and attend social events to maintain relationships with other alumni.

Please provide this link – www.pltw.org/alumni – to eligible PLTW students and graduates so they can learn about the benefits and register to become a PLTW Alumni Association member today.

12.   STEM Type Quiz | STEM Jobs

Students can gain insights into what STEM career path might be right for them with the “STEM Type Quiz” from STEM Jobs. To get recommendations, students simply rate scenarios presented by the quiz and begin to build out a profile.

PLTW appreciates the innumerable ways counseling professionals support and inspire the nation’s students. Thank you for your hard work and dedication!