UMSL and IBM Host BlueMix for Girls
University of Missouri – St. Louis and IBM hosted a BlueMix for Girls event for 18 Pattonville High School female students on April 8. Mary Book, IBM’s z Analytics Technical Sales Manager, Midwest, and Dinesh Mirchandani, Department Chair for Information Systems – UMSL, collaborated to host this event as well as the event on October 9 for Normandy High School. Several members of IBM’s Women in Technology organization participated in the event. This organization plans to host additional events for other districts during the coming months.
Students were encouraged to pursue careers in technology as they heard from IBM executives Myra Lincoln, VP, Public Sector Infrastructure Services Global Technology Services, and Sherri Thomas, Director, Systems – Middleware North America. UMSL Information Systems undergraduate and graduate students mentored and coached the students as they developed personal websites using IBM’s BlueMix software. The teachers and students from Pattonville were very pleased with this opportunity for students to explore careers in technology.
State Fair’s Building Pathways (January and February 2016)
PtP is partnering with State Fair Community College to offer an externship experience patterned on the PtP model. This 3 day activity has 50 participants from 20 schools who will learn about the economic development issues and employment needs for the Sedalia/ West-Central area. The participants are from large districts (Sedalia) to small (Chillhowee) and they are part of the SFCC region. The career focus will be on Allied Health and Advanced Technical (manufacturing) careers. The first day will be informational workshops and the other two days will be touring the training programs at SFCC and visiting worksites that hire graduates. Teachers will be paid a stipend (SFCC has an NSF grant) to take their extern experiences and write specific pathways for their school’s students for the STEM careers. These pathways will be designed on the PPOS model and will indicate any options for articulated credit or dual credit for students at that school. Participants will also design either a work based classroom assignment based on the career skills, or create an activity that will increase career awareness for students and parents.
On Dec 11, 2015, PtP sponsored a Mechatronics Tour for high school counselors within a “commuting” distance of Columbia to learn about Moberly Area CC Mechatronics program housed at the Columbia Parkade campus. Eleven high schools from the MACC region such as Hallsville, Hickman and Rock Bridge attended along with neighboring schools such as Jeff City, Eldon and Boonville. Counselors learned about The Missouri Chamber of Commerce’s Dream it, Do It campaign and the impact of manufacturing on the state’s economy. MACC staff explained the program and the instructor gave the counselors a hands on lab experience. Two local industry employers – Pepsico and 3M – described how mechatronics graduates work in their companies. The employers also discussed the types of employees needed and the skills required for work. Counselors ended their day with a tour of the Hubbell plant in Centralia which currently has hired 3 graduates of the Mechatronic program. Counselors saw how Hubbell has evolved from an “old school” factory to one using robotics and automation.
This type of event was a first for PtP; the counselor feedback was favorable for the one day, specific career informational tour.
8th and 10th Grade SHOCK (Student Hands –On Career Knowledge) Event
On December 4, 2015, 400 8th and 10th graders from eight schools within the Boonslick Technical Education Center’s service area attended a STEM career awareness fair at the Boonslick YMCA Gym. This activity was sponsored jointly with State Fair Community College and DESE’s College and Career Consultants and Pathways to Prosperity Network. The eighth and tenth grade years are especially important for students exploring career paths and deciding on post-secondary training. Completing the Personal Plan of Study (PPOS) is a key part of the transition to high school. This fair helped students make informed decisions about careers in high demand STEM sectors and provided the information needed to complete to accurately complete a meaningful PPOS. Students rotated through 14 different career stations ranging from Machine Tool to Health Information Systems to Renewable Energy to Dental Hygiene. At each station instructors described and demonstrated aspects of the program. Students received information on programs requirements and coursework, credentials, and job outlook. This fair linked the career path from high school to career center to community college program to potential 4 year degree programs. The BTEC programs were linked to their parallel programs at State Fair Community College to provide a 9-14 career pathway. Students also received information on 4 year college programs that correspond to BTEC programs; MU, CMU, Columbia College, and UCM provided information on their related degree programs.
Troy Pohlman, Component Bar Products, hosts educators from Hazelwood East High School, Pattonville School District, North Technical High School, DESE staff, and Missouri Chamber of Commerce.
Pathways Institute for Normandy High School administration and staff
St. Louis 2015 Pathways for Teachers Summer Institute –Teachers from the Affton, Ferguson Florissant, and Hazelwood School Districts
Washington School District, Washington, Missouri – Pathways for Teachers Kick-Off – September 28, 2015