Teacher externships

Cane Ridge and Stratford combine STEM and externships

Teachers from Stratford STEM Magnet High School and Cane Ridge High School participated in two teacher team externships this summer with the Army Corp of Engineers. Check out this video depicting their experiences and hear what the teachers thought about their externships.

 

To find out more about the Academies of Nashville, teacher team externships, the Middle Tennessee STEM Hub, and other MNPS initiatives, visit our website or read more from the Army Corp of Engineers report.

Locks, Levees, and Lessons

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.

 

If you look at a map of Tennessee’s rivers and lakes, hundreds of blue veins criss-cross the state in all shapes and sizes. From the mighty Cumberland River flowing through downtown Nashville to the smallest stream in your backyard, Tennessee waterways shape both the landscape and the economy of the state. Two teachers from Cane Ridge’s Academy of Architecture and Construction attended a three-day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers in order to understand the vast impact the organization has on Metro Nashville and Davidson County.

Check out the team’s photos below to learn more about their externship experience.

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

The first day of the externship included an in depth overview of the US Army Corp of Engineers in order to learn the mission, values, and overall scope and complexity of the organization. 

 

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

The second day of the externship included a plan review and site visit to the Cheatham Lock and Dam project. The work that was on display was a result of the May 2010 floods where these buildings were under water. The visit also included a tour of the power plant located within the dam.

 

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

“There were so many points of interest it was very difficult to narrow them down,” said Harold Cunningham, a teacher at Cane Ridge High School. “I feel the highlights of the externship were the complexity of the US Army Corps of Engineers and their scope of work. I also was very impressed with the love and pride every employee we spoke with has in being a part of the organization.”

 

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

The locks and dams on Tennessee rivers have a significant impact on the economy of the region. Shipping goods by barge keeps more than 70 semi-trucks or 15 rail cars off Tennessee roads and railways. Through barge transportation, there is a reduction in highway traffic, fuel consumption, air pollution, wear and tear on the highways, and the number of tires sent to the landfill.

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

There were several lessons the teachers picked up from the externship experience with the US Army Corps of Engineers. The interdisciplinary project designed is based on the need for proper scheduling and budgeting. Students will work in teams to create and design a project that will allow them to procure supplies, allocate materials, and manage a budget.

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

Students will begin to understand and implement 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. They will also be provided with the opportunity to examine and explore the role that the US Army Corps of Engineers has played in the development of Nashville and surrounding counties.

 

Education 3.0: Preparing students for the IT field

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.

MNPS_AN_StratfordStudents today are some of the most technologically savvy in the world. Many students enrolled in Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Academy of National Safety and Security enjoy working on computers, but are more interested in helping to build them than in using them to send emails and play Angry Birds. In order to provide students with high quality, real-world learning opportunities in the information technology field, a team of six teachers participated in a teacher team externship with the Willis Corporation and the Nashville Technology Council during summer break.

The teacher team spent three days meeting with industry professionals such as Liza Massey, the CEO/ President of the National Technology Council, Eugene Batsuk, a Senior Technology Specialist with the Willis Corporation, and representatives from myEmma, an email marketing company. The groups discussed the specific roles and responsibilities of the companies and the day-to-day job duties of different employees. While visiting the Willis Corporation, the team was able to visit different work areas of the company and see the actual IT hub for worldwide operations that is housed in Nashville.

Over the course of the three day experience, a reoccurring theme emerged. Communication. 

At each location the teacher team visited, the professionals all agreed that both written and verbal communication, a teamwork mindset, and critical thinking/ problem solving skills were the most important characteristics they look for in employees. One aspect of communication is the ability to interact with employees just as easily as customers. The first impression of a company can oftentimes be the call center, or help desk. These positions can be entry-level, yet require a high degree of competency in communication.

In order to take the knowledge and skills gained during the externship back to the classroom, the teacher team has develop an interdisciplinary project known as the “Battling Spartans.”  In the gaming/ programming class, students will develop a simple two-dimensional game with a character associated with the Spartans. Using the Engineering Design Cycle process, students will go through steps of discovery, design, development, and delivery with evaluations between each phase. The English teachers will be able to use character development and story creation in reading and writing assignments associated with the characters developed by the students in the gaming/ programming class. The music courses will also created motifs and themes to compliment the stories throughout the course of the project.

“Attention to communication skills will be enhanced across curriculum and subjects,” said Roger Osbourne, the gaming/ programming teacher at Stratford. “An increase in critical thinking and problem solving will come from more accountability for students to seek answers and be curious within their own peer learning assignments and abilities as well.”

Teacher team externship in architecture and design with Earl Swensson Associates

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.

Glencliff teacher team externship Earl SwenssonIn June 2012, teachers from Glencliff High School’s Academy of Environmental and Urban Planning participated in a teacher team externship with Earl Swensson Associates (ESa), an architecture and design firm based in Nashville. Tara Myers, a Senior Design Manager, hosted the teachers during their time at ESa. She guided the teacher team through the complex process of taking a project through the various stages of development, from proposal and concept planning all the way to construction. According to Myers, “We gave a brief overview of the path/process a project follows as it moves through our office.  The overall design process and how our staff works in teams throughout this process was a focus in all of the sessions that followed.”

During the three-day teacher team externship, the educators learned about ESa’s marketing and business development by focusing on the process the firm uses to respond to Requests for Proposals. They also learned about how a large team of project managers and designers work together to transform an initial design concept into a fully-rendered three-dimensional model using design software such as CAD. The team also enjoyed a visit to Belmont University to see three of ESa’s current projects, all of which are at different phases of construction. This visit allowed the teacher team to see how the design and planning translates into real-world construction.

Myers believes that the experience of inviting teachers into ESa’s offices will have a positive impact on the firm’s relationship to Glencliff High School and will energize classroom instruction. She noted how this interaction will improve ESa’s ability to support its partner Academy: “With the greater understanding of the roles that the teachers play and the challenges they face, we are going to be better equipped to help them throughout the year. One of the teachers told us that spending three days together helped him get to know our employees as people and he will now feel more comfortable calling on us when he has a specific need in his classroom. That discover alone was a huge benefit of the externship process.”

Myers also said that she hopes the teachers in the Academy of Environmental and Urban Planning will work hard to provide more opportunities for collaboration and critical thinking in their classrooms because these skills are fundamental in a collaborative workplace like ESa. She also wants to students to realize that they need to take command of their future: “I want them to know that the future is what they make of it and that they have more ability to craft and influence it than they might realize. There are resources in place to help them, they just need to do their part and take advantage of these opportunities. They also need to know that they have a great group of teachers and supporters in the community who want them to succeed.”

Without a doubt, ESa is one organization full of supporters committed to giving Nashville’s high school students the best possible chance of personal and professional success.

Teacher team externship with Meharry Medical College

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.

Academies of Nashville Glencliff High SchoolFaculty and staff from the Academy of Medical Science and Research at Glencliff High School participated in a teacher team externship at Meharry Medical College last week. Throughout that experience, the faculty and staff were educated about health concerns prevalent to the school community. From the knowledge they gained during the teacher team externship, they have planned several interdisciplinary projects that bring awareness to students, parents, and community members about public health concerns.

This year, teachers have decide to continue with their 5K Run interdisciplinary project that focuses on diabetes. In addition to the 5K run, students will participate in a scavenger hunt, a health fair, and the American Heart Walk. Because all these things take time to plan, students will take an active role in planning, identifying the needs of the projects, and then the academy’s business partners, other academies within the school, and community members for marketing, expertise, and networking resources. Along with the planning and implementing of the events, students will make connections throughout the academic disciplines. These connections will help reiterate all the aspects of wellness: social, emotional, physical, medical and psychological.

One of the most important parts of this interdisciplinary focus is community involvement. Please help Glencliff create an awareness of healthy living by participating in the 5K Run in March 2013. We would love to have your support. More information will follow in the coming months at Glencliff High School.

Teacher team externship in global logistics at Ingram Content Group

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.

Ingram Content Group

In June 2012, teachers from Hillsboro High School‘s Academy of International Business and Communications participated in a teacher externship with Ingram Content Group, which is the parent company of a host of book distribution and logistics business units. Ross Womack, Vice President of Global Transportation, hosted the teachers from Hillsboro during their time at Ingram Content Group. Womack and his staff conducted a tour of the warehouse facilities to provide a general outline of the complexities of inventory management, warehousing, and receiving and shipping operations. The teachers also observed presentations and discussions about potential changes in the 3PL strategy of the Ingram Logistics division as it changes suppliers for global consumer direct fulfillment programs.

Academies of Nashville Hillsboro High SchoolBy learning about the various aspects of successful logistics management and participating in essential strategy discussions, the teachers from Hillsboro High School were able to connect with their business partners in a meaningful way and see the broad set of skills needed to succeed in the working world. Following the externship, Mr. Womack remarked that he hoped the teachers gained a sense of “excitement regarding a profession that touches everyone in some fashion every day of their lives.” He also emphasized that solid geography and math skills are essential for success in a career in logistics. In his message for students, Mr. Womack said: “Development of these skills at an early age will provide an advantage in entry level positions after high school. Supply chain and logistics touches every facet of life, and with it can come more specialized career opportunities.”

Engaging with the local high schools through the teacher team externship and other events allows Ingram Content Group to connect with Nashville and Middle Tennessee in a more meaningful way. Mr. Womack emphatically stated: “Without a doubt, the satisfaction comes from giving back to the community in the form of education and training for future professionals, educators, and leaders. The benefit is long-term and we hope to realize greater potential from our future associates who are now being educated in our high schools.”