Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs are revamping how they approach teaching and learning. Less focused on teaching discrete skills in isolation, CTE programs are relying on career pathways. These pathways help contextualize technical skills in job certifications and internships. Some school districts, like Sabine Pass ISD, are enabling students to earn valuable certifications and participate in internships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Read on to access a three-part TCEA podcast where you can hear how one Texas school district in the Port Arthur area is creating a vision for the future.
Exploring One Vision of CTE and STEM
Mark Simmons (Director of Technology, Sabine Pass ISD) and Scott Hagedorn (Director of Instructional Technology, Sabine Pass ISD) share their vision for CTE and STEM in this three-part podcast. Some of the topics include:
- Setting up career pathways that empower students
- Enabling students to become certified in the software used to design items for hobbyist and industrial-level 3D printing
- Creating a career pathway for various fields of interest
Mark speaks to how Sabine Pass ISD is growing their program to focus on 3D printing, not just from a hobbyist perspective, but to also include industrial 3D printers. Graduating students will have the necessary certifications and internship experiences to obtain jobs in their chosen field.
In this portion, Scott Hagedorn (@hagedornscott) shares more details about Mark’s vision. He mentions their work with the Form 2 3D printer that prints with liquid resin, a stereo lithographic (SLA) printer that is next generation compared to fused deposition model (FDM) type of 3D printers. He discusses introducing students to 3D modeling in middle school with Tinkercad. At the high school level, students are focused on using AutoDesk Fusion360. Students will be Fusion360 certified by the end of the year. He also shares some of the project ideas, including the use of Recap360 to stitch pictures taken with a Phantom drone. The stitched pictures are then used to create a 3D-printed replica (shown below).
In this final portion, Scott shares about how important it was to get students to build a shoe to learn about stress tests. Students test their 3D design before sharing them via a more rigorous sharing platform known as PinShape.com (see a Sabine Pass Shark coin).
Scott also shares some exciting connections on why learning to design and print in 3D is so important. Both Scott and Mark share some more of their vision of how the following technologies can be used with students:
- K-8 Grades – Tinkercad – Easy user interface, but it can get complicated
- 9-12 Grades – AutoDesk Fusion360, as well as Sketch Up Pro (Note: Sketch Up Pro is available to all Texas public schools for FREE – learn more)
Although the conversation wrapped up quickly, Mark also shared how LEGO robotics is being used with younger students and VEX Robotics has begun to be put in place for use with older students. This broad range of experiences and learning opportunities distinguishes Sabine Pass ISD from other districts and is well worth emulating.