Career Center introduces exciting elementary resources


XENIA — In an age where the emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education is vital, the Greene County Career Center is working to bring hands-on learning experiences directly into the classrooms of Greene County’s elementary schools.

Last year — as part of the state-developed Career Connections Initiative — career tech centers received funds geared specifically toward students in grades K-5, effectively planting seeds of career awareness and exploration at an early age.

Expanding on that, GCCC has designed a strategy to provide resources or offer STEM opportunities for every student in Greene County during their primary and middle grades. GCCC is sharing resources tailor-made for teachers and their students to provide career-awareness opportunities. This initiative not only enriches a student’s academic journey, but also ignites a passion for future career exploration.

“The goal of the resources is to provide career awareness opportunities for students with little to no preparation for teachers and to give them the autonomy to use the resources as they see fit in their classrooms,” said recruitment and admissions advisor Laura Meek. “Last year, we passed out resources to kindergarteners, second graders, and fourth grade teachers in all Greene County elementary schools. This year, we will share those resources again, as well as new ones for first, third and fifth graders.”

— Kindergarten: Each student in Greene County will receive a copy of “There’s a Hat for That!” by Kevin Fleming, a book full of rhymes and colorful illustrations. They’ll join monkeys on a journey exploring different careers, discovering the perfect fit for each hat. Additionally, every teacher will receive a copy to share the joy of career exploration with their students.

— First grade: Classrooms will welcome Bee-Bot, a valuable technology tool for teaching coding, sequencing, problem-solving, and more. Accompanying the Bee-Bot is a pocketed mat, offering countless opportunities for learning activities.

— Second grade: Created by students in GCCC’s digital design and development program on campus, the activity book for this grade is a treasure trove of enrichment. Aligned with GCCC’s career-technical programs, these activities can be utilized for independent exploration or as engaging whole-class activities, fostering a culture of curiosity and discovery.

— Third grade: Classrooms will receive “The Big Book of Jobs,” a fully illustrated career guide that sparks imagination and encourages students to envision their future professions based on their hobbies and interests. Each teacher will have a copy to add to their classroom library and inspire their students.

— Fourth grade: GCCC developed an immersive, hands-on STEM lesson that intertwines with career technical education while reinforcing weathering and erosion standards. After reading “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs,” students will collaborate to build structures and test them against weather elements, igniting their creativity and problem-solving skills. Complete with a classroom kit, lesson plan, and PowerPoint, this experience promises to be both educational and fun.

— Fifth grade: Each student will receive “100 Things to be When You Grow Up,” a captivating book exploring myriad fascinating careers. Packed with inspiration, advice from National Geographic explorers, and weird-but-true facts, this book sparks creativity and excitement about future career paths.

“Empowering our students with these resources at an early age sets the stage for a lifetime of curiosity, exploration, and success,” said GCCC board president Adam Remaly. “I’m excited to see these resources ignite a passion for learning and exploration in our students, setting them on a path to success in their future careers.”

Additionally, GCCC is offering a summer STEM camp exclusively for incoming sixth through eighth graders, providing further opportunities for exploration and learning. The camp will be held at GCCC’s state of the art facility from June 10-13, providing students a unique opportunity to integrate various STEM topics. Registration is open now. The cost is $50 for the entire experience.

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