By Frank Xydias, MHS CTE Engineering Teacher
With increasing emphasis on STEAM Education and an attempt to formalize what it means to become “Career Ready”, the faculty and staff of SAU #40 in Milford is on a mission. Under the leadership of Superintendent Bob Marquis, cross curricular initiatives K-12 are being developed and delivered. From Maker Spaces and Innovation Labs at the elementary and middle school level to evening STEAM events targeting 4th through 8th graders and the scheduling of several staff development sessions over this past year, there is no doubt that district priorities are evolving.
Milford students are not being exposed to STEAM as a stand-alone concept. Instead, we are looking for opportunities to demonstrate how science, technology, engineering, art and math are intricately embedded in virtually everything we see and do on a daily basis. Nowhere is that sentiment more apparent perhaps than in product design and development or MANUFACTURING.
As part part of Manufacturing Day On October 6th, we took advantage of a scheduled Professional Development day to give school administrators, teachers and counselors an up-close inside look at some of the amazing work being done right here in the Milford community. Suffice it is to say that there were many “ah-ha moments” as we went through the day. Supported by our amazing partners at Hitchiner Manufacturing, AirMar and Hollis-Line Machine, approximately 70 education professionals were able to tour three distinct manufacturing facilities.
We had the opportunity to hear from engineers, machinists, welders and human resource specialists (some of whom were in fact graduates of Milford High School) exactly what it is they are looking for in potential new hires. In other words, what it means to be “Career Ready” from their perspective. We will certainly consider their input as we move forward as a district to develop learning activities for our students.
About the author; Frank Xydias is a high school engineering teacher. Frank also develops STEM initiatives for elementary and middle school students and their parents to improve CTE awareness throughout the district.