Work experience goes virtual to improve students' career skills
At the centre of an east London secondary school hall draped with flags from around the world, and under the motto "aim for excellence", is a white fridge-like capsule containing two screens and a black chair.

The capsule is called the LifeSkills Pod and is a new initiative described by its creators as "the world's first immersive work experience simulator", and as an antidote to the criticism that too many pupils spend all their time making tea when on placements.

Industry experts have said businesses overwhelmingly feel that many young people are not adequately readied for the workplace when they leave education - 88% of businesses believe school leavers are unprepared for the world of work, according to a British Chambers of Commerce survey.

Inside the pod, pupils are given an interactive experience and asked to complete 10-minute tasks covering soft skills such as networking, communicating decisions, resilience and professionalism.  >>READ MORE 
7 Earth day projects for kids
Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about caring for our planet and how to live sustainably. Most children are receptive to these concepts and are looking for ways to help. Teaching children to be resourceful by upcycling waste for art projects, gifts, and toys is a great way to start.

Using a variety of materials helps engage children in these fun projects. Some of these activities are designed to get children excited about outdoor exploration, so they can experience the wonders of nature first-hand. Having a special activity or project can be a great way to engage children in exploring nearby outdoor areas.
Garfield students grow life skills in miniature garden
Negotiation is a handy skill to have, and Garfield Montessori School students Cortez Jarrett, a fourth-grader, and Hayden Bethard, a fifth-grader, practiced that while planning their miniature garden.

Cortez had his own ideas and Hayden had his, but with the help of a sketch to determine what would go into the garden, they compromised.

"We did some research on (miniature gardens) and looked up what other people had done," social worker Elizabeth Antonacci said. "One of the reasons we wrote (the plan) down was so we could have something we all liked."

"This is a tent they can live in," Cortez said, pointing to it, "and they can come out and cross over this bridge to look at the flowers."

"They" would normally be fairies, because a miniature garden like theirs is often referred to as a "fairy garden," but social worker Elizabeth Antonacci said not everyone believes in fairies, so they decided to call them "miniature" gardens instead..  >>READ MORE 
High school students showcase culinary skills at regional competition
On Friday, the kitchen and pastry shops at Culinard, Virginia College's culinary program were full. Students in chefs whites moved deftly but confidently about, seeking ingredients for soup stock and deboning chicken, preparing pastry cream and manipulating icing for a perfectly decorated cake.

On one end of the kitchen, students swiftly fabricated chickens, removing bones and separating it into perfect breast, thigh and drumstick portions. Inside the baking kitchen, one man was proofing dough for bread, while another young woman was carefully putting the finishing touches on a decorated cake.

The scene, with its precision and culinary talent, was reminiscent of the hit Bravo show, Top Chef, but these competitors were all under the age of 20.

The 35 students had come from high school career centers across three states to compete for top prize in the SkillsUSA Regional Culinary Competition. The regional competition pits high school culinary students against one another for a chance to win a $2,250 scholarship.   >>READ MORE
Environmental education is an integral part of everyday life at Redtail Ridge Elementary School in Minnesota's Prior Lake-Savage area school district. On any given day you could find: math students using trees to study circumference, students using their senses to reinforce a lesson on adjectives, kindergartners sorting man-made verses natural objects, writing nature poetry, and investigating positive and negative numbers by recording the daily temperature.  Embedding environmental education into our daily routine is a reflection of the community that fills the building, viewing the outdoors as an extension of our classroom, and a constant effort to replace existing lessons with an environmental focus.

From a supportive administrator, to our diligent custodial staff, willing classroom teachers, and tireless support staff, we are all working towards our philosophy of using the environment to educate children. The willingness to help each other and draw on each other's strengths is what makes us unique. At any time you might see a fifth grade classroom taking a kindergarten class snowshoeing and then the next day going again with a group of second graders.

Every school year starts with a lesson on the expectations of outdoor learning. As a staff we established building-wide rules for outdoor learning, which are posted at every exit to remind students of appropriate behavior.  As a result, we have minimal behavior issues outdoors due to the frequency of getting outside, clear expectations, and students' desire to be outside.  The students understand that learning is not restricted to the classroom and the outdoors provides them with a hands-on, sensory, learning experience. 
Paul, please pause for proper applause. 

How can a clam cram in a clear cream can.  

Nine nice night nurses nursing nicely.

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Starting next year, science teachers in Indiana could be much more focused on how kids learn about biology and engineering - and less focused on what they learn.

The new science standards that the Indiana State Board of Education is set to vote on tomorrow stress the investigative and research skills that kids need to learn at every grade level as they explore physical science, earth and space science, life science and engineering.  >>READ MORE
Guilford Students Learn Trade Skills, Help Habitat for Humanity
Mark Anderson's 47 students have spent the past semester building walls for a Habitat for Humanity house that a family of four will soon call home.

Anderson teaches wood shop at Guilford High School and wants his students to learn trade skills they can use after graduation if college isn't on their agendas. This year the class prefabricated and framed about 44 walls for the three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath home that will eventually be built on Pearl Street in Rockford. 
Starbucks, Philly Volunteers Teach Kensington High School Students Professional Skills
Students at a Philadelphia high school get a taste of what it's like to be part work force thanks to Starbucks.

City Year Philadelphia and volunteers from Starbucks teamed up Thursday to teach work place interaction skills to students at Kensington Health and Sciences Academy.

"They're working on professional development like interviewing skills, resume building, communication workshops to helps these youth prepare for the work force or going to college," said Michael Scott with Starbucks.


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Look deep into nature,
and then you will understand everything better.
- Albert Einstein