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Old 07-01-2013, 02:42 PM
 
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I was visiting with family last night and talking about how exciting the up and coming freshman year was going to be for my niece and nephew. They just graduated high school and are starting college. My nephew is doing an internship this summer and we were discussing his resume, or lack thereof. His dad helped him with it and they played up his engineering focus while in high school. I never heard of such a thing here in the states, but it was a track he was on while in high school. I know that's how it's done in some Norther European countries. He'll be interning at a company that makes solar powered motor bikes this summer and will be majoring in physics and/or engineering in college.

Is this common and do you have tracks in your high school? Can you tell me about it and what kind of teachers are employed for this?

The next thing on my mind is this blog. The US is lagging in STEM, blah blah, we need more teachers to pull us up the ranks, etc. If we're going to have tracks would it be best to have seasoned industry professionals transition to the classroom (getting teaching certificates as needed)? It really does take years and years to develop expertise in STEM areas, so I don't see how it can just be taught in college. And it takes training to develop the organizational skills to teach. It would be great if this could be acquired while working in industry. Although, I don't see STEM professionals wanting to take the pay cut in droves. What do you think?
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:52 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
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The high school my kids graduated from had tracks... in science, math and English.
This is nothing new as I was on the 'college prep' track back in that late 60s-early 70s.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:02 PM
 
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My high school had majors. You could major in civil engineering, architecture, computer science, etc. The whole high school had a technology/engineering focus however.

A lot of American high schools have a "college prep" type track and a "regular" track. There are also specialized high schools around but it really depends on where you live. In NYC for instance, there are a wide variety of such high schools (like for performing arts, graphic design, healthcare, business, etc) but other cities don't have much besides the normal stuff.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
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For these HS track curricula, would you (all) say the freshmen had basically the same classes regardless of what track they were on? Meaning, the kids didn't take diverging classes until 10, 11, and 12th grades? Or, did even the 9th graders have different classes?
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:57 PM
 
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Good question, Charles. Pitt Chick, I am aware of college prep, but I'm curious about more specific tracks and what courses are involved. Tinawina, that's what I'm looking for and it relates to my second line of questioning in the OP.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:08 PM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,787,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I was visiting with family last night and talking about how exciting the up and coming freshman year was going to be for my niece and nephew. They just graduated high school and are starting college. My nephew is doing an internship this summer and we were discussing his resume, or lack thereof. His dad helped him with it and they played up his engineering focus while in high school. I never heard of such a thing here in the states, but it was a track he was on while in high school. I know that's how it's done in some Norther European countries. He'll be interning at a company that makes solar powered motor bikes this summer and will be majoring in physics and/or engineering in college.

Is this common and do you have tracks in your high school? Can you tell me about it and what kind of teachers are employed for this?

The next thing on my mind is this blog. The US is lagging in STEM, blah blah, we need more teachers to pull us up the ranks, etc. If we're going to have tracks would it be best to have seasoned industry professionals transition to the classroom (getting teaching certificates as needed)? It really does take years and years to develop expertise in STEM areas, so I don't see how it can just be taught in college. And it takes training to develop the organizational skills to teach. It would be great if this could be acquired while working in industry. Although, I don't see STEM professionals wanting to take the pay cut in droves. What do you think?
My entire school district is based on tracking for STEM. One of our schools focuses on computer and mechanical engineering, one of biotechnology, one of marine science and ocean engineering, etc. All of our schools require students to complete a piece of original research or a mentorship.

All of the STEM teachers come from industry/research backgrounds. We all have degrees in our fields, most have graduate work. There is no one with an education degree teaching STEM at these schools.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:23 PM
 
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haha, it's going to be great, they are going to put all the students in STEM and then what happens when they can't find people to teach English, History, Spanish, French, Criminal Justice, Economics, or Government?
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:26 PM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,787,181 times
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Originally Posted by Blackscorpion View Post
haha, it's going to be great, they are going to put all the students in STEM and then what happens when they can't find people to teach English, History, Spanish, French, Criminal Justice, Economics, or Government?
The idea of putting students "in STEM" isnt to produce more teachers of STEM subjects.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:44 PM
 
6,129 posts, read 6,829,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
For these HS track curricula, would you (all) say the freshmen had basically the same classes regardless of what track they were on? Meaning, the kids didn't take diverging classes until 10, 11, and 12th grades? Or, did even the 9th graders have different classes?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Good question, Charles. Pitt Chick, I am aware of college prep, but I'm curious about more specific tracks and what courses are involved. Tinawina, that's what I'm looking for and it relates to my second line of questioning in the OP.
Okey doke.

At my school, all freshmen & sophomores (? - my mind is fuzzy on sophomore year) had to take the same classes. The usual suspects plus foundry, technical drawing, computer programming, etc. The idea was to sample a little of all the majors and to get basic engineering & technology concepts down.

Once you chose a major (you had to apply/get accepted into a major) everyone had the basic college prep curriculum in the mornings (chem, physics, bio, geometry and calculus were all required along with multiple levels of english, social studies, foreign languages and history) and afternoons we took in the classes required of our majors. Some majors had dual enrollment in the senior year where you took actual freshman classes in that subject at a local college. You could earn college credit on top of the class counting towards your high school diploma.

Classes in the majors tended to be taught by former professionals in that field. A lot were retired, some were not. The rest of the classes were taught by trained teachers.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:52 PM
 
563 posts, read 809,115 times
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It's common in magnet schools, where a school specializes into certain discipline(s) and sometimes charters as well. Normally, it's the larger school districts such as NYC or LAUSD that have enough resource to commit funding to magnets. However, they're not that common in mid-sized and rural districts.
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