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Community Partnerships for Career-Oriented Learning Work

Project-based learning with future careers in mind

Overview

To encourage students to think about how to interact with external entities and design authentic projects aligned with future careers in mind, Mendon-Upton Regional School District partnered with different organizations within their community, such as the Museum of Science, Boston and Southwick’s Zoo, to allow students to have real-world career-related learning experiences.

"I think the authenticity piece is that first step onto the on ramp for students to make meaningful career connections. For kids, when you're actually working with an external partner, I feel that it gives an added layer of authenticity." - Dave Quinn, Director of Technology Integration, Mendon-Upton Regional School District

Approach

Teachers helped to connect what students were learning in school with the outside world via career-oriented partnerships by allowing for students to see how certain skills and concepts are leveraged in real-world scenarios. One such project was with the Museum of Science, Boston, where students connected their science unit to a project on museum exhibit design. To help students make deeper connections to a variety of different careers, the district also partnered with American Student Assistance to hold career interviews with professionals in different fields where students were invited to ask questions related to the work. To deepen both this work and student interest, the district also leveraged Invest in What’s Next, which helped students to explore the financial impact of different career paths.


This strategy is a part of TLA's Hop, Skip, Leapfrog release, which explores the concrete ways in which schools and systems pursued student-centered innovation during COVID-19. Explore the full guide to find additional strategies, insights, and resources.


Strategy Resources


Inspiring Careers: Dr. Samantha Russak of Southwick's Zoo

A video recording of a live Q&A session on what it’s like to be a... Learn More

Museum of Science, Boston - Model of the Atom Exhibit Rubric

Example of a project rubric from the Museum of Science, Boston on building a model... Learn More