At Atlantis, we place a strong emphasis on providing our students with experiential learning opportunities to help them make informed decisions about the careers they want to pursue after graduation. That’s why we are committed to having a robust internship program. Career Academy Director Pat Hawkridge has spent much of the school year arranging capstone internship experiences for seniors. Those internships began this month with some new and exciting changes.
“The seniors in the Teaching and Social Services Academy are working with classroom teachers and an occupational therapist at the Lower School as they have in past years, but the internships for students in the other Academies look a little different this year,” Hawkridge explained. “Our goal is still to create a valuable, interesting exciting experience for students within their chosen field – and I think we are doing just that.”
The internship for the Arts, Culture and Design Academy is titled “Building Empathy: The Power of the Spoken Word.” Students are working with a spoken word artist and a filmmaker to create a film that with explore empathy within themselves. The professionals, personally selected by Hawkridge for this project, are helping students put their stories in writing and capture it on video. The final project will be shared in May.
One artist from the Arts, Culture and Design Academy is joining classmates from the STEM and Business and Entrepreneurship Academies for an exciting pilot project at UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship that models MIT’s IDM program. Working with a mentor from the CIE and their Academy instructors, students will select a topic/problem faced by a local business and attempt to solve that problem. Their solution will be shared with the business, school or agency they are working with and will also be shared in an open forum modeled after MIT’s yearly IDM Product and Idea Presentation.
Setting up internships for seniors in the Health and Medicine Academy proved the most challenging because of HIPAA laws and schedules, so Hawkridge is arranging several different experiences for the students. “If I cannot bring them to a medical experience, I will bring the medical experience to them,” she said.
Hawkridge is planning an EMT day at Atlantis where students can meet working EMTs, learn about the work they do, and explore an ambulance in the parking lot. Hawkridge is also lining up actors from two local college programs to come in and pretend to be patients so students can perform simulated patient assessments. Other experiences will involve doctor office visits and a tour of a local company that sells software used by healthcare systems.
In addition to providing exposure to in-demand careers, Hawkridge says the internships will help build students’ soft skills with a major focus on the 3C’s: collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.