The school year is flying by. We’re already two months into 2020, and summer will be here before we know it. Some big decisions lie ahead for many of our students, particularly for our 8th and 10th graders. The 8th graders are deciding where they will attend high school and the 10th graders will soon choose a Career Academy. To help them make informed decisions, we took our 8th and 10th graders to UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the Atlantis Career Academy Expo.
Each of the five Career Academies had a station at the expo, and the 8th and 10th graders rotated through them. Students in the Health and Medicine Academy demonstrated how to take a blood pressure reading on volunteers. STEM Academy students designed objects using their laptops and sent them to the 3D printers. The Teaching and Social Services Academy was joined by members of the Fall River Police Department where students learned about careers in law enforcement and even got to try on SWAT gear. Students sketched and a professional artist painted while talking to students interested in the Arts, Culture & Design Academy.
And the Business and Entrepreneurship Academy shared some of their business plans with the younger students.
Career Academy Director Pat Hawkridge says she wanted the expo to be very interactive to get the students thinking about the choices they will make in the weeks and months ahead. The expo gave them an opportunity to talk to the
adjunct instructors, current students, and industry professionals about the academies and the career opportunities available in those fields.
“I wanted to leave space for students to ask their own questions, explore and make decisions for themselves,” Hawkridge said. “For many of the students, this was their first time meeting the Academy instructors. I think the event was a success, in fact, several colleagues have spoken with 8th graders who are eager to stay at Atlantis for high school based on the experience.”
Hawkridge hopes to take some of the ideas put forth in this year’s expo and imbed them in future events.