Teacher externships

A Classroom of Stars, Not Circles

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Glencliff High School’s Ford Academy of Business and Innovation had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partners, Redpepper Advertising Agency.

 

UnknownFor our summer externship we visited Redpepper; they are an ad agency by day, but an invention lab by night. Upon arriving, we took a tour of the building and learned a little bit about the company’s norms and ideals. The company is innovatively driven. They focus their layout and norms on pushing people to further themselves and the company because like one of their norms spells out, “If you’re not changing, you’re dying.” They are founded around supporting everyone’s personal growth. This is something we were particularly inspired by because we see it as a valuable cultural component for our academy structure. Redpepper believes in empowering, rather than policing. As the Ford Academy of Business and Innovation, we need to give our teachers as well as our students the support and encouragement to try new things and pursue their passions.

The activities we participated in were based around the client experience at Redpepper. On the first day, we met with Matt, Erik, and Carl and learned about the Redpepper Invention Lab. We were able to see previous inventions created by the lab as they explained that manipulating and “playing” with new technologies helps keep them at the forefront of marketing. On the second day, we met with their New Business Department, including Samara and Victoria. They expounded on the ways they attracted new clients. Then we met with Ann, Nate, and Jamie and learned about the strategic planning that goes into developing ad campaigns for their clients’ needs. This meeting was especially invigorating, as it gave us a solid grasp of what our project would look like. The team was very helpful in brainstorming what our students’ experience could be. Next, we met with Yancey, Brooke, and Ily and explored design solutions and social media strategies in the marketing field. On the final day, we were able to share our experiences with our Academy principle and coach and meet with one of Redpepper’s copywriters, Leslie, where we learned about how the language in an ad impacts the targeted audience.

When learning about the company’s ideals, we discovered the concept of having a business full of stars as opposed to circles.   We would like to incorporate this concept in our classrooms by encouraging our students to have “sharp corners”. We want them to pursue their passions and strengths rather than “fix” their weaknesses, making them well-rounded. We used this insight as a springboard to develop our PBL. Our project idea is a design thinking challenge based around creating a new social media platform that meets specific niche interests among our student population, thus highlighting their sharp-corners. Students will use data analysis and elements and principles of design to develop their platform both strategically and visually. We will accompany them on the journey to research and discover key characteristics that could bring success to their new platform.

Our overall experience at Redpepper drove us to attempt to establish an intrinsically motivating environment for both the teachers and students of our academy. We are excited to share our discoveries with our colleagues and implement our PBL to engage our students in a similar experience.Unknown

 

Teachers Take Over Music Row

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School’s Academy of Entertainment Management had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partners, the Regions Bank and Warner Music. 

Regions Bank at Music Row was the site of Day One of the week-long Music Row Externship for the teachers of the Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School. The Academy of Entertainment Management’s Externship included presentations by Regions Music Row bankers, Pete Fisher (Grand Ole Opry General Manager), and business manager Lainie Allbee of Martin, Allbee & Associates.  Other program days that week were at Warner Music Nashville and Warner/Chappell Music as the Pearl-Cohn faculty learn about the workings of the entertainment industry.

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Jaydie Fay, Yolanda Jackson, Matthew Truwit, Stephanie Booth, Regions Bank’s Lisa Harless, Annmarie O’Daffer and William Darnell

Stratford Teachers Tour Old Hickory Lock and Dam

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Freshman Academy had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, the Army Corps of Engineers. 

The Freshman Academy met at the Resource Manager’s office at Old Hickory Lock and Dam where we were introduced to the Commander and Deputy, and we were provided with an overview of all the components involving the Corps of Engineers and our waterways.   “Securing the Nation’s Future Through Water” began our adventure at the Dam. We also viewed demonstrations regarding the importance of protecting the landscape along the rivers’ edges as well as protecting endangered species such as bats. In addition to providing an energy source to numerous areas within our state and outside of our state, the water system has been improved to include water storage areas through new dams.

Our group was provided a behind the scenes tour inside the dam, the control room, and the lock. The amazing aspect of this location is that all of the equipment is original equipment dating back to the 1960’s. After our tour and PowerPoint presentations, our group proceeded to Drakes Creek off of Saundersville Road in Hendersonville where we measured various points of erosion in the creek to determine problem areas preserving the natural habit of the areas. Our education with The Corp of Engineers left us with the knowledge that there are numerous opportunities within the Corp for our students at Stratford after graduation including several paid training jobs that do not require a college degree.

Stratford STEM Magnet High School teachers tour the Old Hickory Lake Lock and Dam.

Stratford STEM Magnet High School teachers tour the Old Hickory Lake Lock and Dam.

The inner workings of the Lock and Dam work well to prepare teachers for students interested in engineering, science, and research.

The inner workings of the Lock and Dam work well to prepare teachers for students interested in engineering, science, and research.

How is PBL used in the real world?

Stratford STEM Magnet High School teachers from the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies met with myEmma, one of the academy business partners. myEmma is an international email and marketing campaign services company with Nashville serving as its originating corporate headquarters location. The teacher externship included five academy teachers and literacy coach.

The team met with the company’s top management to learn about their business, its personnel, its products, technology, culture, and hiring needs. But how all of their collective educational degrees and experiences work together to create a brand that a consumer will feel confident in, is what makes myEmma such a great place to work and business to be associated with. It also creates a need for diverse personnel.

As teachers we are tasked with project based learning experiences, to incorporate 21st century skills and needs that employers emphasize to succeed, no matter what degree you may hold. Our conversations involved a lot questioning, listening, critical thinking, and analyzing to find a way to create a PBL that English, math, science, economics, and programming can work together with a shared learning experience. We found at myEmma they follow patterns of a development process that programming students may use in their future workplace.

As a result of the team’s experience that focuses on safety and community, we have challenged our students to define and develop an app for social change. The project incorporates aspects of communication, presentation, technical writing, programming, statistics, GIS mapping, and economic impact. The students will be able to pitch an app that could affect social change in their community concerning crime and other safety issues.

 

From Teachers to Neuroscientists

A team comprised of an Interdisciplinary Science and Research (ISR) Pathway, Biology, Spanish, and English teacher from Stratford’s Academy of Science and Engineering spent a day investigating neuroscience with scientists from Vanderbilt’s Center for Science Outreach (VCSO). During the morning sessions, team members studied the effect concussions have on the brain. Team members conducted a test for the presence of a protein released when the brain suffers a concussion and graphed data gathered. In the afternoon session, VCSO scientists led team members through an introduction to diagnosing brain injuries as well as a discussion of the brain and drug addiction. Team members diagnosed brains—really molded ice sculptures—and contemplated the problems of drug addiction in our society.

Team members met the following day to develop a PBL for ninth grade Interdisciplinary Science Research (ISR) students. Motivated by the discussion of drug addiction the previous day, the team decided to ask ISR students the driving question, “How do drugs impact your body, your family, your community, and your world?” After researching the effect of medication on the brain and disorders of the brain, students will collaborate to create concise, videotaped public service announcements which will be played in the school lobby. Not only will the students who participate in the PBL learn about the connection between addiction, chemicals, and brain function, but they will have the opportunity to share their understandings with peers in other pathways and academies.

The “Art” of Education

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Glencliff High School had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, the Parthenon, the Metro Arts Commission, and Earl Swensson Associates. 

Metro Arts Bicycle Rack

The teacher externship team and the Glencliff Academy Coach were introduced to the concept that art can come in many forms. Here, the group poses with the artistic bicycle racks outside of the Lentz Public Health Center.

The Glencliff High School Freshman Academy team consisted of Jessica Abarquez, Tara Worthey, and Linda Wynkoop.  We visited The Parthenon, the Metro Arts Commission, and Earl Swensson Associates.  We loved seeing how people took different pathways to their careers.  This perspective will help us in guiding students towards their own pathways.  Since the name of our project is called “My Personal Odyssey,” it is our hope that students will leave their ninth grade year with a strong sense of direction regarding the rest of their high school career.  All of the places we visited showed us different aspects of career planning.

Metro Arts Hospital Installment

Artwork is constantly changed and rotated through Nashville through the Metro Arts Commission. Here, a new piece of artwork is being installed in the Lentz Center.

CSI: Stratford STEM Magnet High School

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Stratford STEM Magnet High School had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, the Metro Nashville Police Department. 

 

Untitled As Criminal Justice students at Stratford learn, “M.O.M.” is the acronym for MOTIVE, OPPORTUNITY and MEANS“M.O.M.” is a common formula used in criminal investigations, forensic analysis of evidence, and investigative case management.

In this case, the MOTIVE of our externship was to allow the Stratford staff to gain a real world hands on experience that would enable them to collaborate on the development of a project based learning model that will be implemented on a school-wide basis during for the school year.

In this case, the OPPORTUNITY existed because the Metro Nashville Police Department is a strong business partner with Stratford and a valuable supporter of its extensive Criminal Justice program, especially the Student Criminal Justice Cadet Corps.  Certainly, this unique opportunity would not have been possible without the guidance and support of Stratford STEM Magnet School Resource Officer McCormick, East Precinct Commander Imhof, and MNPS Public Information Manager, Don Aaron.

In this case, the MEANS was accomplished by imbedding the Stratford staff at the Police Training Academy, the Forensic Laboratory, and the Executive Management COMSTAT meeting.  This intense participation enabled the teachers and managers to better understand the best ways to prepare Stratford STEM Magnet High School students for a career in criminal justice, corrections, and law.

Untitled 2 Highlights at the Training Academy consisted of learning how the Police serve our community with pride and professionalism.  A detailed overview of their hiring process including qualifications, experience, and education requirements.  This will assist the Stratford staff in identifying the best goals and objectives for the students, and what is realistically required to be competitive in a criminal justice career.  A briefing of the student internship program which provides an opportunity to observe and work in various units of the police department such as Records Division, Identification Unit, Secondary Employment Unit, Domestic Violence Unit, Criminal Investigations Division, Case Preparation Division etc. Students will learn about the departments staffing, mission, activities, records, and services.  In addition, the Stratford staff received an extensive tour of the training facilities, K-9, defensive driving, aviation, and firearms programs.

Highlights at the Forensic Laboratory consisted of tours of the DNA Serology Unit, Drug Identification Unit, Latent Finger Print Unit, Firearms Unit, Tool Mark Unit, and Toxicology Unit. A detailed briefing about how the forensic analysis of evidence is critical to the successful identification and prosecution of criminals. The Stratford staff was especially interested in how the evidence analysis report is documented and how it is used during the judicial process. The Stratford staff learned that they must prepare their students to master attention to detail, provide concise documentation, observe strict laboratory protocol, exhibit dedication to duty, and service to community.

Untitled 3 Highlights of the Executive Management Command staff consisted of attending and observing an Executive Briefing on Computer Statistics aka Compstat, an effective, adaptable and flexible management model or paradigm utilized by Metro Police Command. Compstat has been applied with great success in controlling crime and disorder.

Let’s Talk Trash

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Antioch High School’s Freshman Academy had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partners Deloitte, Nissan, the Tennessee Federal Credit Union, and Holiday Inn. 

 

During the third week of June, our team participated in an externship with Nissan, Holiday Inn, Deloitte, and the Tennessee Credit Union. At Nissan we had the chance to see a great presentation on going green by Pat Vickers. We also took a tour through the plant to see the making of Nissan vehicles. We then shifted gears to visit Holiday Inn. We were able to explore every aspect of hospitality. We were able to visit the sales department, engineering, front desk, human resources, the restaurant, and housekeeping. When we visited Deloitte, we had an awesome learning experience. Did you know Deloitte employs more than 65,000 people! While at Deloitte, we took a tour of the building and spoke with employees from different departments. Our favorite was the Telesuite. The Telesuite is used to meet with other Deloitte offices worldwide. This really eliminates travel expenses and time. Our final stop of the externship was the Tennessee Credit Union. While visiting, we learning the history of the credit union and why/ how our credit union is an important source of community funding.

The business partners were inspiring and impactful during our entire visit. Their willingness to take an afternoon out of their busy schedule to host us was very inspiring. We found that regardless of how many questions we asked, they made sure that we were answered thoroughly and thoughtfully. We truly appreciated all the time they allowed us.

Out of this experience, we are developing a PBL called #talkingtrash. At each location we learning the cost effectiveness of sustainability and facts about recycling. We were inspired to use environmental data from our local community and impress upon the students the need to adopt sustainability as a philosophical choice. Currently, Antioch High School does not have a sustainable recycling center. We hope through this PBL, our students will be able to create a sustainable school environment.

Teachers Working Alongside Cancer Researchers

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Stratford STEM Magnet High School had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, the Diatech Oncology. 

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Upon arriving at Diatech Oncology, a Canadian company new to the United States that offers “the test that tailors your cancer treatment,”  we were greeted by our primary host, Patti Ward.  We were taken to their conference room and provided an introduction to the key players and an overview of the company.  Our team was provided a tour of the facilities and given an overview of laboratory safety procedures.  We were also given an in depth idea of what the company does with cancer cells from its training director, Muhammed. On day two we spent more time in the lab with greater introductions to the technology utilized and the chemicals, incubators, and areas where work is completed.

On our final day we examined how their robot mixes the treatment medications with the cells and then how they view that data through their computers.  We further went through the process of how they examine samples from the time they arrive through all testing and data collection.  The three days were and incredibly interesting and amazing experience for our team.  The information involving the research on cancer cells will be expanded into our PBL units involving the ethics involved with cell research through the study of the 1950’s case of Henrietta Lacks.

Becoming IT Professionals

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Stratford STEM Magnet High School had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, the Nashville Software School. 

 

Six Stratford STEM Magnet High School teachers from the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies computer gaming pathway participated in teacher externship at Nashville Software School where they met with IT professionals from around Nashville.

After talking with numerous business partners, we concluded that 21st century skills are what set students up for success in the interview process. We began backwards planning with these goals in mind:

  • Allow for self-reflection and self-awareness so that students are confident in their ability to sell themselves as competent, capable, and collaborative professionals
  • Give practical experience in real-world situations
  • Provide an opportunity to practice presenting projects during the first semester to prepare for higher-stakes competitions in the second semester (e.g. PBL Expo)
  • Incorporate business partners and community to provide advice and provide authenticity to the roleplaying process

Our Driving Question is “How can we leverage student outcomes with Career and Technical Education work for college and career preparation.” Our Culminating Activity is going to be a mock job fair where students will use a portfolio of class work and projects to interview with “employers” (role-played by business partners, community members, and parents) and graded on a presentation rubric. We are tentatively set for Thursday, December 4th, so that students can demonstrate their work from throughout the first semester.

Students will assemble projects (formative assessments) from the first quarter and develop more projects from the second quarter in order to develop an e-portfolio of sample work to demonstrate collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication. Students will develop a resume and cover letter in order to explain how their experience and artifacts demonstrate each of the 4 Cs of 21st-century skills.

Snail Eggs, Blood Splatter, and ISR: A Typical Summer Day

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Stratford STEM Magnet High School had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach. 

IMAG0356This fun and fascinating experience began at Isaac Litton Middle School where the teachers learned background information on the program “Scientist in the Classroom.”  This reiterated the importance of bringing real world scientists into the classroom enabling teachers to make the classroom experience more applicable to the real world while at the same time enabling real world scientists to learn skills assisting them in becoming better teachers of their craft.  After this meeting, the teachers met a group of students from Hillsboro High School at Richland Creek to participate in environmental sampling.  Although we weren’t all dressed for outdoor activities, everyone made the best of it; Kathy L. was an expert discoverer of snail eggs.   In addition, the students from Hillsboro were very impressive.  The moment they arrived at the creek, they went to work; it was very clear that these students knew what to do, how to do it, and the importance of documentation.  When we left the creek, the teachers then met at Vanderbilt for an across campus walk in the blazing heat, but it was well worth it.  We had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with instructors and students from the School of Science and Math at Vanderbilt, and this was fantastic.  As students were working on the finishing details of their projects, the teachers were able to ask questions to provide them an opportunity to practice their presentations which were the next day.  Many appreciated this opportunity because they have been working on these projects for months.  Our favorite project was the autonomous robot that sprayed Luminal and detected chemiluminescence.  We finished this day with a discussion panel with Vanderbilt professors and leaders of Interdisciplinary Science and Research, where we discussed trends in science education and how it has changed over time.

IMAG0358The second day was equally exciting as we practiced engaging students in science with “hands on” activities.  Our first activity was making a rocket out of a straw.  Some of us were eager and quick with ideas of how to start while others of us needed the use of NASA and Google.  We then demonstrated the success or failure of our rockets by projecting them at a 45 degree angle through the air.  Next, we participated in various blood splatter activities which included blood splatter with a fan, blood splatter from various heights, blood splatter while walking, and then blood transfer.  The highlight of this activity was the unplanned blood splatter in stabbing. In all of the activities, we documented the size, shape, and characteristics of the blood splatter. Finally, we ended the day with a lesson on human behavior.  We began this activity by choosing between sets of two people who we would like to live beside.  We were given pictures of the person, his/her hobbies, and his/her occupation.  It took about three sets for us to figure out all of the people were famous serial killers.  This was a great day that gave the teachers who aren’t in the Interdisciplinary Science and Research, or ISR, classes an opportunity to really understand ISR, which provided a great foundation for our next day.

The third and fourth day of our externship were spent brainstorming, discussing, and planning the best ways to incorporate a new ISR lesson with a focus on the freshman class.  We began by looking at all of the lesson units for all of the ISR classes, and we decided to offer something unlike the others already available.  We chose a lesson on agricultural science with a focus on growing food for the community.  The students will have an opportunity to plant seeds, grow them, document changes during growth, create graphs, create marketing and business plans, and ultimately sell their produce at Stratford STEM Magnet High School.  This externship was a great experience, and the students at Stratford STEM Magnet are going to love this unit!!

Growing the Future of Urban Agriculture in Nashville

The Academies of Nashville business partners are an essential element to high school redesign. While many partnerships occur in the classroom through guest speakers and mentoring, there are some partnerships that occur with students outside of the school grounds. Jason at Trevecca Nazarene University’s Urban Farm shares his experiences with students outside the classroom. 

 

UnknownEarly this spring, Trevecca Urban Farm began developing a relationship with the Academies of Nashville after an enthusiastic visit from the director, Dr. Chaney Mosley and Overton High School’s Academy Coach, Mary York.  A desire was expressed at that point to begin connecting students from Metro schools–particularly from the four schools with agricultural pathways—with our agricultural work.  Overton in particular has an agricultural academy that focuses on urban agriculture.

This dream quickly began to be realized when three students from Overton spent a week of mornings with us at the farm, working and learning about the how’s and why’s of urban agricultural during their spring intercession.  This was followed by the Trevecca Urban Farm Camp.  Like the intercession week, this was a hands-on learning experience that submerged students into the global and local issues of food, farming, and justice as they learned to care for chickens, fish, worms, fruit, and vegetables.  In addition, eighteen students learned how to build and plant a garden, build a compost pile, and plant trees. These eighteen students represented eleven different nationalities as first or second generation Americans.

Students completing the camp had an opportunity to apply for a paid internship for the remaining seven weeks of the summer.  We welcomed six students who worked hard alongside our farm team to build up the farm and plant a huge vegetable garden, care for fruit trees and bushes, and care for fish, worms, and chickens.  Once they were trained in the why and how of the farm, we were able to let them teach and lead groups of visitors at the farm over the summer.  It was amazing to watch them passionately explain to other teens the issues around food access in our neighborhood. Two of the interns incubated chicks from our fertilized eggs. Another wants to be a missionary and employ these skills abroad for the good of those she serves.

Additionally, the Trevecca Urban Farm hosted five teachers from different disciplines for a teacher externship where they worked and learned for three full days about the issues of food justice, agriculture, nutrition and diet-related illness, and gardening. The teachers planned to develop an interdisciplinary project to be implemented at Overton this fall. It was a shock to the teachers that the Overton student interns taught them about the farm. They were blown away when we allowed these same students to train them in what we were doing with enthusiasm, ownership, and expertise.  They couldn’t believe the difference in these students when they were given a chance to learn with their bodies, follow their curiosities, and embrace leadership roles.

Finally, we took the interns to a local farm where they picked blackberries, blueberries, and apples and got to see how a full scale production farm operates.  They were involved in every aspect of our work and were educated in the social, biological, and spiritual aspects of caring for the soil and its fruits.  In their last week, they caught tilapia out of the aquaponics system and took them to Chef John in the cafeteria where he taught them how to filet and prepare the fish for a meal.  We then ate a meal together that was almost exclusively made up of farm produce that they had grown and harvested.  The summer with these high school students was a rich, rich experience—incredibly inspiring to the adult interns and volunteers that worked alongside them through the summer.

Four students from the internship and the camp stated, without any prompting, that they were applying to Trevecca Nazarene University!

Partnerships with Products

How cool is this!? Griffin Technology, a business partner at Hunters Lane High School, designed a Warrior iPhone case for the school. This idea is a product of a teacher externship last summer when a team of teachers spent three days visiting the company and learning how to apply real world skills to teaching standards. This year, students in these classes will begin designing phone cases that Griffin will produce the sell!photo

iHealth: What is Health Informatics?

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Hillwood High Schoohad the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, HCA. 

 

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An “Electric” Externship

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Maplewood High School had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, the Nashville Electric Service

 

UnknownThe PBL training was an excellent look at how project based learning can help our students.  The first three days at the Martin Professional Development Center gave our group a solid base of knowledge about what PBL is supposed to be and was insightful in the explanation of how many projects are not PBL because they lack one of the 8 essential characteristics.  Our experiences in the first three days prepared us to look for aspects in our project that we may have missed otherwise as we moved on to our externship.

Our partner (NES) was exceptional.  They were patient and yet exposed us to many different areas of their operation.  We learned the history of the organization and moved on to the specific equipment they use and maintain.  We were introduced to new technology and how that was swiftly changing their operations and the types of skills that employees would need as they moved into new and challenging roles.  We visited a number of work sites and saw the vast infrastructure that is used as well as the depth of the operation and its importance to the community.  We saw the command center where power for the entire county can be controlled from a single room.  The physics and chemistry of the equipment was explained, as was the civil engineering used to design the system and place specific poles to carry electricity to the community.  It was an exciting externship that pushed our group mentally and physically.

We spent our final work day preparing for the renewable resource project we have chosen.  Planning and scheduling were a priority.  As we worked through a schedule we assigned roles to our academy teachers so that each could be as efficient as possible in teaching our students.  We understand that there are time restrictions to the project and want to implement this project in the same vein as our externship.  We hope it is an exhaustive and rewarding experience for our students because that is what we believe will benefit them most as they transition from school into a workplace like NES.