Nikki Malcolm is the Director of Communications and Programming for the 114th Partnership.
According to KQEd’s article "How Schools Can Help Students Develop A Greater Sense Of Purpose,” “about 20 percent of high school kids report being purposeful and dedicated to something besides themselves. The majority are either adrift, frenetic with work but purposeless, or full of big dreams but lacking a deliberate plan.”
Spark 101, a virtual resource, aims to connect classwork to potential careers and equip young people to align their education plans to personally rewarding, high-demand careers that will indeed fulfill their big dreams!
Our 10-minute interactive videos, co-developed with employers, are the only free resource of their kind and can be accessed from anywhere. The videos meet national and state educational standards and use a format proven to be effective in schools.
The Spark 101 approach gives students the opportunity to apply academic skills to analyze, evaluate, create, and communicate their solutions to featured employers’ challenges and tasks.
Our goal is for students to:
- Understand the relevancy of their coursework;
- Increase their interest in a specific career/industry;
- Modify course-taking plans; and
- Develop their professional identity.
“Exposure to actual careers and experiences might help kids recognize the connection between what they’re learning and reality." – KQED
In the upcoming free webinar Igniting the Spark: Engaging Secondary Students in Real-World Problem Solving, participants will learn how to embed Spark 101 into an existing curriculum.
Participants will also explore complementary educator resources using Communication Upgrades on a Bustling Production Line, which showcases Toyota engineers who are tasked with upgrading the communication system of a fast-paced assembly line. Students will use math and various disciplines to solve this challenge while being transported to Toyota’s largest vehicle manufacturing plant in North America.
The webinar will be co-facilitated by Emily Davis of ASCD and Math Interventionist Susan Patterson.
Be sure to register here to secure your spot for the May 11th webinar and learn:
- How to navigate the Spark 101 website and access more than 50 free STEM skills videos, the usage guides, customizable lesson plans, and employer resources.
- How Spark 101’s unique three-part video structure engages students with real-world scenarios, each with an authentic in-the-field problem to solve along with information about related career and education pathway(s).
- How to integrate the newly released STEM skills video by Toyota into your existing curriculum.
Can’t attend the webinar? Sign up and explore Spark 101 on your own!
Spark 101 is a program of the 114th Partnership. Named for the meridian that bridges the Great Continental Divide, the 114th Partnership® is a national nonprofit that helps young people navigate education and career pathways.
PLTW’s blog is intended to serve as a forum for ideas and perspectives from across our network. The opinions expressed are those of each guest author.