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Connecting with Expeditions, Pitsco lagniappe

Published December 21, 2017
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By David Meador, Curriculum Specialist

dmeador@pitsco.com

Some of my favorite food is Cajun. I like the spicy, exotic flavors. Coming from the center of the continental United States, I find these flavors interesting and different from my everyday experience. I’ve even learned a Cajun word or two as I have traveled in Louisiana. My favorite word, especially when it is used in a place where I am eating, is lagniappe.

For those of you who don’t know, lagniappe is “a little something extra.” If you’ve ever had a lagniappe, then you probably know why it would be my favorite Cajun word. A lagniappe brings some added flavor, makes the dish even more filling, provides a new and unique experience to something familiar, and just makes the experience more rewarding. Pitsco has captured the essence of lagniappe with the Expeditions in the form of Connections, that little something extra to enhance the Expeditions experience.

Currently, Pitsco offers four Connections: Career, CADD, Research, and Safety. These can be used with any Expedition and at any point in an Expedition. They can be used to help extend the content at the end. They can be used to enhance the content during the Expedition experience. They can even be used as an introduction before beginning an Expedition. Each Connection brings something unique that adds a little something extra.

In the Building Bridges Expedition, for example, you could incorporate the CADD Connection to have the students create a CADD drawing of their bridge design. During the Bio Research Expedition, you could use the Research Connection to help students extend their research into bioengineering and see how to conduct and recognize good research they find.

Concerned about safety? The Safety Connection covers topics related to classroom safety, workplace safety, and even personal safety, all topics that would benefit your students and can be taught at any point during the Expedition experience, providing students with meaningful context to the guidelines provided. The Career Connection offers many different opportunities for students to explore careers that are directly related to the Expedition content. This could easily be used as the lead-in to an Expeditions experience in your classroom.

If you are looking for ways to provide supplemental instruction, maybe even just to fill some calendar days, the Connections are a meaningful solution. The activities contained within the Connections range in time from 15 to 45 minutes. But one thing they all provide is that little something extra that takes the Expeditions content from great to incredible. So, if you haven’t already explored the Pitsco lagniappe of Connections, I would encourage you to try them and see how they can make your students’ classroom experience even better.

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– Jairo A Maldonado, EdM, assistant principal, Westfield High School, Houston, Texas

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