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Director's Weekly Memo 2015-4-13

Making a difference in agriscience; Director forms business and industry advisory council; free Moodle training now available; CareerTech plans summer camps to encourage creativity in learning; Oklahoma Quality Foundation offering boot camp; Great Plains Tech to show off pre-engineering program; useful links and my schedule for the week.
Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” -- Michael Jordan

Making a difference in agriscience

Devon Energy’s investment in the FFA Agriscience Fair resulted in an increase in participation by FFA members of 300 percent in one year. The company’s incentive resulted in 241 FFA members representing 52 chapters entering 169 projects in the fair.

Devon Energy partnered with the Oklahoma FFA Foundation to develop and fund the FFA Agriscience Fair Initiative. Devon Energy wanted to encourage agricultural education students statewide to use scientific principles and emerging technologies as they relate to agriculture and energy industries. The company had five major objectives:

1. To provide training opportunities for students and agricultural education instructors to better understand the development of scientific research that will expand student-led, science-based FFA Agriscience Fair projects.

2. To help agricultural education instructors and middle school and/or high school level science teachers collaborate to develop high-quality agriscience research projects for agricultural education students.

3. To offer opportunities and incentives for agricultural education students to research, develop, conduct and evaluate high-quality Agriscience Fair projects.

4. To support events for ag-ed/FFA students to showcase their Agriscience Fair projects to Devon Energy representatives in a professional environment.

5. To give students the chance to conduct research-based Agriscience Fair projects relating to the oil and natural gas industry.

Devon Energy offered financial support and collaborated with the Noble Foundation to develop workshops for agricultural education instructors regarding proper management and research techniques to teach students to select and produce worthwhile Agriscience Fair projects. The partners also developed training sessions for instructors on how to produce a common science activity experience and how to construct a meaningful understanding of scientific concepts.

Director forms business and industry advisory council

As CareerTech continues to work to fill the skills gap, it is critical to strengthen partnerships with business and industry. Several technology centers have business and industry advisory groups to help meet local workforce needs. The state director will be forming an advisory council to provide input on how the CareerTech System can meet workforce needs statewide.

Free Moodle training now available

CIMC has developed several free tutorials to help you get the most from Moodle. These are great for DIY training, train-the-trainer sessions and instructor-led group classes. The 23 training topics address course setup, collaborative features, enrollment and grading, student input features and content enhancement. You can download these tutorials at www.okcimc.com/ctyouniverse. Each tutorial is a PDF. For the most up-to-date information on ctYOUniverse, access our new newsletter at http://www.okcareertech.org/educators/cimc/ctyouniverse/. If you have questions, please contact Margi Cooper at 405.743.5538.

CareerTech plans summer camps to encourage creativity in learning

Oklahoma students and teachers will get the chance this summer to think, build and learn at a camp conducted by Oklahoma CareerTech, which is teaming up with ESSDACK, an educational service agency with headquarters in Hutchinson, Kan., to conduct two STEAMmaker camps.

STEAMmaker combines science, tinkering, engineering, aesthetics and mathematics with the maker movement in education. Maker education is project-based learning that incorporates solution-based problem-solving and engineering in a movement to encourage students to make or build things. The camps will be May 19-21 at Tulsa Technology Center’s Riverside Campus and June 22-24 at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater. Registration opened April 6. More information about the camps and registration can be found at https://www.okcareertech.org/about/state-agency/divisions/innovation-research-and-quality/steammaker.

Oklahoma Quality Foundation offering boot camp

The Oklahoma Quality Foundation will offer “Getting Started with Baldrige Boot Camp” May 7 in Oklahoma City. The all-day workshop is designed to help organizations learn more about the Baldrige criteria and get started on their organizational profile, the foundation for submitting an application. Early bird registration is $199 per person. Register at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/getting-started-with-baldrige-boot-camp-tickets-16143385300.

Great Plains Tech to show off pre-engineering program

Great Plains Technology Center hosted an open house for its pre-engineering program last week to show what its STEM students have done. The program follows Project Lead The Way curriculum and focuses on aeronautical engineering and digital electronics, Karen Bailey, director of academic affairs and external relations, told The Lawton Constitution.

For more about the work at Great Plains Tech, read the story in The Lawton Constitution: http://www.swoknews.com/local/pre-engineering-program-show.

Useful links

Oklahoma Horizon Schedule

For daily news about Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, follow us on Twitter at @okcareertech and find us on Facebook at OKCareerTech.
State Agency Assistance at a Glance
National Center for Research in Career and Technical Education
Lifelong Learning Foundations newsletters

Schedule for the week 4-13

This schedule is subject to change without notice:

Monday
Senior leadership meeting

Tuesday
Staff meetings

Wednesday
TechCAP
Making It Work Day

Thursday
Board meeting

Friday
Teacher certification meeting
Accreditation

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