How to fund your CTE program

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs provide students with relevant tools and skills that set them up for success in life and their careers, including those not typically part of traditional academic programs.

These programs offer something unique and, in many cases, tap into a student’s personal interests – even as they still provide a valuable education experience. CTE programs have countless benefits to students, and funding to implement, sustain, or grow your existing CTE programs is crucial. While there are many free resources available, having the funds to purchase basic equipment or upgrade to premium services can make a huge difference.

So where do you start when looking to fund your CTE program? The most significant source of United States government funds for CTE comes from The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, also known as “Perkins V” or “Perkins CTE grants.” It’s a grant, meaning you don’t have to pay it back, but the application process is competitive, and you’ll need to satisfy requirements as part of the grant.…Read More

New resources target STEM via aerospace education

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Estes Industries, and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) have joined together to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers through a new, multi-year initiative that will bring research-based aerospace education to thousands of classrooms nationwide.

Launched in April, Exploration Generation (ExGen) will provide K-12 educators with free lesson plans and curriculum storylines to help guide students as they explore various concepts in aerospace, engineering, and rocketry. High-quality professional learning experiences will also be developed to support teachers’ use of the ExGen instructional materials.

Even as the U.S. aerospace and defense industry leads the world in innovation, it faces challenges with the workforce: a skills gap among STEM-literate students entering the industry, a need for greater participation by women and ethnic minorities, and a growing knowledge gap from early retirements.

Based on the 2021 AIAA State of the Industry Report, nearly 50 percent of respondents believe an increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion by aerospace industry employers will help increase the pipeline of skilled, competent aerospace professionals.

“We are excited about our collaboration with Estes and NSTA to inspire a new space age generation. Our shared commitment to strengthening the aerospace profession is driving us to inspire the future workforce,” said Dan Dumbacher, executive director, AIAA. “We all recognize the need for a diverse and robust STEM next generation who use what they learn today to innovate and invent tomorrow. These new resources will help even more educators join us in shaping the future of aerospace.”…Read More

Poptential™ Free Curriculum Brings History Alive for Independence Day

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — (May 6, 2022) — Poptential™, a family of free social studies course packages that pair pop culture media with engaging digital storytelling, provides teachers and students media-rich lessons on the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence, celebrated July 4. Click to tweet.

“While the Declaration of Independence was adopted 246 years ago, the heroes guiding the birth of our nation are brought to life in popular culture, which appeals to today’s digitally-savvy learner, and can make teaching more effective and relevant,” said Fred Fransen, CEO of Certell, Inc., the maker of Poptential.

Poptential courses, used by more than 30,000 teachers in 50 states, include everything instructors need to teach a subject, digitally accessible in one place, including lessons, ebooks, bell ringers, quizzes, and tests, as well as pop culture media to make lessons interesting and relatable to students. Curriculum packages are standards-based and developed by social studies teachers.…Read More

Popular Ebooks and Audiobooks Keep Students Reading All Summer Long

CLEVELAND – May 6, 2022 As schools seek innovative new strategies to increase reading and learning, teachers are using digital tools inside and outside the classroom. In response, OverDrive Education is offering the most expansive Sora Sweet Reads summer reading program yet, May 4–August 17. In its ninth year, this free program is designed to help educators and students beat the “summer slide” with popular digital reading materials through the award-winning Sora student reading app. Currently, over 53,000 schools around the world are opting into the program. 

Sora Sweet Reads provides free access to a variety of popular digital books during the next 100+ days to encourage student reading during the rest of the school year and summer break. From May 4 through August 17, students from participating schools worldwide can enjoy free, 24/7 access through the Sora reading app to 50 juvenile and young adult ebooks, audiobooks and Read-Alongs from their school, the largest amount ever offered through the program. The Sora Sweet Reads titles are provided by 21 publishers and divided into elementary, middle and high school sections. Ebook titles include 10 Blind Dates, Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, Ironheart, and Ark Angel. Audiobook titles include Flannery and Game Changer. See the  full list

“When our students began using Sora last spring, they were excited to check out ebooks and we wondered whether that excitement would carry over into the summer months,” said Alexandra Brown, Educational Technology Specialist at National Heritage Academies in Michigan. “When we participated in Sora Sweet Reads our students were so enthusiastic about the selection of books that our checkouts surpassed all our expectations. Sora Sweet Reads gave our students access to ‘always available’ books ensuring there was no waiting list and students could read favorites at the same time as their friends.” …Read More

Hertz Celebrates Grads by Waiving Young Renter Fee

ESTERO, Fla., May 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — To celebrate Spring 2022 college graduates, today Hertz launched a new offer designed specifically to meet the needs of young renters. College graduates under 25 who become a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® member will get the Young Renter Fee waived* when they rent by signing up at  hertz.com/grads.

Gold Plus Rewards members enjoy a faster pickup and drop-off experience. Free to join, benefits start from day one and include:

  • Choosing from a wide selection of cars from fuel-free EVs, luxury sedans and sports cars to SUVs, trucks, vans and more
  • Skipping the counter and going straight to your car at select locations
  • Earning points toward free rental days and upgrades
  • Adding an additional driver for free*
  • Dropping the keys and going at return

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate the class of 2022,” said Laura Smith, Hertz Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience. “Introducing younger customers to our brand is vital as we create a new Hertz and become a leader in the future of mobility and travel. This new loyalty offering for young renters, our industry-leading investment in EVs, and the upcoming digital enhancements we’re making to further enable a fast and seamless car rental experience are a few examples of how we’re appealing to Gen Z’s values, unique needs and preferences.”…Read More

IRIS Debuts Powerful New Application Where Students Use Seismic Waves Data to Learn about the Layers of the Earth

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 3, 2022) — The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) has created an online version of its popular activity “Determining and Measuring Earth’s Layered Interior” to challenge students to use evidence in the form of earthquake data to understand the Earth’s interior layers. This free web-based tool for Earth Science classrooms was funded in part by the National Science Foundation. 

The activities contained within the tool emphasize the use of models and the importance of using empirical evidence to make discoveries in Earth Science. When using the tool, students act as scientists as they discover and analyze real-world data. This exploration encourages independent thinking, data analysis, and engineering and design, as it builds an understanding of this dynamic planet and its internal engine.

“Students today have unprecedented access to seismic data and web tools that allow them to explore fundamentally big ideas such as the predictive power of models to help explain the Earth’s system and to measure the Earth’s core,” said Michael Hubenthal, Senior Science Education Specialist at IRIS. “The “Determining and Measuring Earth’s Layered Interior” tool allows students to explore and analyze the data that scientists use to understand the layers of the Earth.”…Read More

STEM careers are among students’ top choices

Students’ interests in various career fields had an overwhelming STEM and digital focus, according to a survey from the nonprofit American Student Assistance (ASA).

ASA, which aims to change the way middle and high schoolers learn about careers and navigate education-to-career opportunities, used its free immersive digital Futurescape platform to survey more than 2,000 students as they explored real-world careers beyond the classroom.

“We need to set students up for success by exposing them to career choices that they can explore where they live, which is on their mobile devices. We also have to reach them as early as middle school, before a world of career and postsecondary options begins to narrow,” said ASA President and CEO Jean Eddy. …Read More

How Mississippi is prioritizing student learning and safety

COVID has undeniably changed education, and as schools, districts, and states move forward with educating students in a new reality, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is focusing on student learning and student safety.

MDE is investing up to $49 million of its American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds in four new services to support student safety and learning statewide.

“These student and school support services will help all district and school leaders manage the challenges of the pandemic and help students accelerate their learning,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Along with a system to make schools safer, we are offering districts services that will give students access to high-quality content, college and career planning tools, and live tutors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”…Read More

Milestone reached as NH takes advantage of free instructional materials

CONCORD, NH (March 3, 2022) — In less than eight months, more than 215,000 digital resources have been used by New Hampshire educators, students and families through Discovery Education’s innovative learning platform.

“These instructional materials have been incredibly valuable to the state’s educational system. Connecting teachers to a vast collection of standards-aligned content that is easily accessible in digital lessons provides them with a unique opportunity to support students,” said Frank Edelblut, commissioner of education.

Last July, the New Hampshire Department of Education launched a partnership with Discovery Education to provide school systems statewide access to high quality, digital instructional materials through the state’s Canvas Learning Management System.…Read More

SplashLearn Rolls Out Dates For Its Much Loved ‘SpringBoard Math Challenge 2022’

San Francisco, CA, 23nd February 2022: The popular game-based learning program SplashLearn, today announced the 8th edition of its massively popular SpringBoard Math Challenge. The math competition is a calendar marked event and is highly anticipated by teachers across the US and Canada. SpringBoard Math Challenge 2022, open to all classes from Kindergarten to grade 5, will run from March 1 – May 8, 2022.

Participation is free for the SpringBoard Math Challenge, whichis designed to give teachers and schools the opportunity to engage their elementary school students through fun math challenges aligned to the curriculum. The 10-week challenge will allow students to master their math skills and enter the new class with confidence, whilst having fun. 

Joy Deep Nath, co-founder, SplashLearn, said“SpringBoard is a math competition, but it has achieved more than that. It has grown to be a platform for social and emotional bonding for both students and teachers alike. Of course, it also helps reduce the attainment gap and ensures students are prepared for the next grade. There is a growing appreciation for SpringBoard as an effective way to challenge students in a familiar, secure and friendly setting to practice with their peers which is paramount in the present times”.  …Read More