The Antelope Valley Career Prep Council and Antelope Valley Union High School District College and Career Readiness Office sponsored a tour of CTE programs at five Lancaster, California schools on February 18th as part of CTE Month commemorations in the area. Forty community members, including industry, government, and education partners, began the tour by visiting biomedical sciences, stagecraft, and multimedia classrooms at Eastside High School. After a short bus ride to the site, the group visited Gateway to Technology and AVID classes at Discovery School in the Lancaster School District, including viewing last-minute preparations for the community presentation of “Robo-Golf” projects by 7th graders. The group went on to tour engineering, multimedia, computer science, and dental classrooms at Antelope Valley High, and then multimedia and production spaces, including recording, TV, graphics and radio studios at Lancaster High. The final site on the tour was SOAR (Students On Academic Rise) early college high school with a STEM focus on the campus of Antelope Valley College, including the state-of-the-art Health Sciences building. The tour concluded back at Eastside High with the participants enjoying a box lunch on the sunny outdoor patio.
While on the bus among the various sites, attendees discussed the programs they visited and those at other schools, and Q&A sessions provided information about courses and co- and extra-curricular activities such as career-technical student organization chapters (FBLA, FFA, HOSA, and SkillsUSA) and events held locally. Policy issues such as Perkins funding and teacher credentialing were also addressed.
Related events which took place during CTE Month included regional information nights for incoming 9th graders about career academies and pathways available across the AVUHSD, as well as the Aerospace Valley Science Olympiad regional competition held at AVC to promote interest in STEM fields. Engineering Week saw industry guest speakers from Northrop Grumman and Edwards Air Force Base in many classrooms, and students from the AVHS Green Enterprise Academy took a field trip to AVC, CSU Bakersfield-AV, and CSU Long Beach-AV engineering program. Finally, a group of CTE teachers and administrators also attended the AV Board of Trade Outlook Conference, where they heard from noted speakers and created additional business and industry connections.
As usual, CTE Month is a busy time in the Antelope Valley, and 2015 allowed us to “Recognize Classroom Innovators” once again.