Middle School, Grades 7-8, is the perfect time to begin to explore careers and find out what interests a student might have. Taking a career inventory through the guidance program’s Naviance software, and then using the inventory to explore careers through elective courses is one way to start finding out what interests a student. Career exploration through hands-on, project-based activities in elective courses is available at several IUSD middle schools. Courses vary among the middle schools, depending on the facilities and staff, but may include; Engineering and Robotics, Digital Media, Video Production, Technology Wheel, Fashion Design and Culinary Arts. The middle school is the ideal time to begin to build career ready skills that will be applicable to high school, post-secondary education and a career in any industry. These skills include communicating project outcomes clearly, developing personal goals, thinking creatively to solve problems, work productively in teams, propose solutions based on planning and research.
Engineering fabrication lab programs are in development at IUSD middle schools, where students will use the Design Thinking Process to design a product to solve a problem. Students will work in teams to design and build prototypes out of readily available materials, such as paper and cardboard, or program a 3D printer to build the prototype.
All IUSD middle schools have opportunities for students to learn skills in Digital Media and Video production, either as separate elective courses or as activities within the schools program. Several IUSD middle schools are developing elective courses that include career exploration in Engineering and Robotics. Ask your counselor about specific opportunities available at your school.