LITTLE CHUTE, WI -- Students at Little Chute Careers Pathway Academy are building their resumes, as the school makes it their mission to get kids prepared for their futures with career experience.
Educators spend a lot of time getting their students involved in the community, learning about what it means to succeed in a career from the people that are actually in those careers. "We had beads everywhere it was a complete mess, but now we know what steps to do it," figuring out how to bracelets may not have been too difficult, but the process of doing so is another lesson in itself.
"Business, life, understanding what we do in the real world. They're doing bracelets where we manufacture Agriculture equipment," explains Amerequip Corporation engineer Fritz Heathman.
The activity of making bracelets focuses on continuous improvement and LEAN, which simply put means creating more value for customers with fewer resources. "You have to learn to see things as they flow in a process and then you identify the waste in the process." Karen Schaefer is a registered nurse and the LEAN education director for Affinity Health System,"We usually say once you become passionate about continuous process improvement you permeates your DNA. You can't see things any other way."
It's the schools goal to engage students in career exploration from the moment they walk into the door, "Our employers emphasize things like teamwork, communication, collaboration. They're not always talking about solving equations," says teacher Shawn Volk. Not to say classroom lectures and books aren't important, "As teachers we can say a lot of things but it means more when they can get involved with other individuals." Applying the skills just adds to the experience says Heathman, "To know and be able to act on things is ten times better than just to be able to know what's inside of a book."
The kids are able to tour different facilities, shadowing employees and get hands on experience "I really got to see how the medication was passed out," not a bad experience for Aaron Gholston who wants become a neurologist. "It's really kind of locked in what i want to do." The experience is just as great for those with dreams in sports medicine, "It exposes you to what's out there and what we can improve on," says sophomore Mallorie Pendergast.
Whether they're shadowing health care workers or bringing professionals to the classroom these students are getting an up close look at the future and Schaefer says helping, "has been one of the most rewarding educational experiences I've had to see the interest, enthusiasm and to see these students really embracing and learning."