New York Students See Connections Between Classroom and Career

Students at Rush-Henrietta High School (RHHS) in Rochester, New York, don’t have to ask, “When will I ever use this again?” in class, because every day, they see the connections between what they’re learning and what they want in their careers.

Furthermore, students at RHHS are developing the skills they need to follow their career dreams.

For example, PLTW student Lucia Berkhof had no idea what she wanted to do before her PLTW Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) course, but now, her experience in that course has helped make her confident in her choice to pursue engineering.

PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram recently visited RHHS – which offers both PLTW Engineering and PLTW Biomedical Science – to talk with PLTW students about how their K-12 experience is preparing them for the future.

“There are a lot of experiences students have in school and then they’re over,” Bertram said. “But we have to create currency for our students. The experiences they are having now matter for them. Employers are looking for people with these skills, and our students need to see that connection.”

During Bertram’s visit, PLTW Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS) students at RHHS echoed that they feel empowered to choose their future.

“I like PLTW because it’s guided, but it’s still independent,” said one PBS student. “I learned so much about biomedical careers and got to narrow down what I want to do in the future.”

PLTW’s unique approach to exploring career connections in the classroom has motivated the PBS students’ teacher, Heather Bradstreet, as well. Bradstreet said she feels inspired to teach the course because she has the opportunity to help bridge the gap between how biomedical science is practiced in the field and how it is taught in the classroom.

On his trip to New York, Bertram also visited Roth Middle School in Rochester Central School District, as well as H.W. Smith PK-8 School and Frazer PK-8 School in Syracuse City School District, to talk to students at different points in PLTW’s K-12 pathways.

“There is a trajectory for these experiences,” he told the students, “and that trajectory leads to where the careers are.”

Stay current on Vince’s travels – and the latest in education and workforce development news – by following him on Twitter at @VinceBertram