Published November 27, 2019
Have you watched our recently released
video, “The Pitsco Experience”? In this video, we
highlight the role the teacher can and does play
in a student’s present-day and future success.
We feature four students throughout a brief
span of a few years in a teacher’s career and then
again in a nod to their futures. We see a student
experimenting with a Pitsco Eco-Wind Gen and
Fable from Shape Robotics achieve early admission
to a university of his choice. We watch another
student trying out the Straw Rocket Launcher and
racing dragsters, both of which fanned her interest
in aviation and familiarity with the concepts and
capacities she’d need in the field as a commercial
pilot. And there is yet another student, working
with engineering and mechatronics through
building a balsa wood bridge and an Arduino Education kit, who goes on to operate his own
construction and engineering company. Finally,
we see a student complete a biological-focused
Career Expedition and build a TETRIX® PRIME
robot. We reconnect with her in the end when
she comes back to the classroom, still wearing
her medical scrubs, to recognize her teacher’s
retirement. This brief cycle in a teacher’s career is
meant to reinforce the importance of educators,
hands-on education, and the transformation that
can happen in a classroom.
So, as you work daily to prepare students
for the world they’ll live into – for a world we
can’t yet describe – it’d be easy to have mixed
emotions. What an opportunity! What an
obligation! And what’s the best approach for
trying to tackle the task? How can you help
students navigate through this or inspire them
to be and grow into their best, fulfilled selves?
We’ve got five components we believe are
core to career exploration and preparation in
- Enthusiasm: Be excited and transparent
about your desire to help students
through this time or help them begin
their journey to what they want to be
when they grow up by building skills
and behaviors that support that goal
now. Moods and vibes are contagious.
Help them catch the feeling!
- Exposure: Provide ample opportunity
for students to learn about a wide variety
of jobs, professions, and fields. Invite
professionals and skilled workers from local
industries and businesses to share their
work with your class. Host Skype sessions
with professionals not present in the area.
- Exploration: Extend their awareness to a
deeper level. Set up whole, partial-class,
or small group tours and job shadows at
local businesses if possible. Have them
complete quick social media and Internet
searches to gain a better understanding
of the roles and positions in those fields.
- Education: Expand on what they
already know. Provide relevant activities
and assignments for students to start
connecting with different professions in
a simulated or small-scale way such as
hands-on activities. Create projects through
which students research professions and
share what they learn in their own words.
- Encouragement: Traversing the wide
world of work can be overwhelming.
Remind students you’re one of their
biggest fans and that you’re there to
support them, connect them with
resources, believe in them, and discuss
and answer questions they might have.
Hands-on opportunities and projects
enable students to build confidence in
their knowledge and skills.
Earlier this year, we released nine enhanced teacher guides that correspond with nine of our
most popular hands-on, minds-on products.
We’ve built in a variety of STEM activities,
pretests and posttests, video links, career
information, and applications of the 4Cs. You
can download any of them for FREE right now.
Here’s a snapshot of the careers students could
get plugged into with these projects.
- Straw Rockets Teacher’s Guide: Students
could consider opportunities such
as aerospace engineering, assembly
technicians, mechanical engineering,
avionic, astronauts, physicists, or
- Balsa Bridges Teacher’s Guide: Students
could consider career opportunities
such as civil engineers, civil engineering
technicians, dredge operators, cost
estimators, mechanical drafters,
transportation managers, architects, or
- Egg-Drop Vehicles Teacher’s Guide:
Students could consider opportunities
for careers as commercial and industrial
designers, industrial engineers or
engineering technicians, mechanical
engineers or engineering technicians, or
- Hot-Air Balloons Teacher’s Guide:
Students might pursue aerospace
engineering and operations technicians,
aviation inspectors, transportation
managers, or secondary teachers.
- Toothpick Bridges Teacher’s Guide:
Students could explore careers as
civil engineers, structural iron or steel
workers, construction managers or
crewmembers, construction or building
inspectors, bridge and lock tenders, or
- Water Rockets Teacher’s Guide: Students
could consider aerospace engineering
and operations technicians, assembly
technicians, mechanical engineering
technicians, structural metal fabricators
and fitters, avionic technicians, astronauts,
- Wind Energy Teacher’s Guide: Activities
in this guide could be associated with the
larger field of sustainable energy. Students
could consider careers as mechanical
engineers, electrical engineers, computer
programmers, atmospheric scientists, or
- Solid-Fuel Rockets Teacher’s Guide:
Activities related to solid-fuel rockets are
a part of the aerospace field. Students
could consider careers as aerospace
engineering and operations technicians;
aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and
systems assemblers; aircraft mechanics
and service technicians; machinists;
materials engineers; or physicists.
- Solar Vehicles Teacher’s Guide:
Activities in this guide could be
associated with the larger field of solar
and alternative or sustainable energy.
Students could consider careers such
as solar photovoltaic installers, solar
energy systems engineers, solar sales,
green marketers, power distributors and
dispatchers, or electrical engineers.
We also have a robust K-12 coding and robotics
continuum that complements and facilitates so
many of the foundational skills these kits foster.
No matter the path your students explore, your
work matters. The impact of an educator is
undeniable. The value of hands-on, minds-on
learning is proven. Combining all of these pieces
is the magic.