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Fontana Unified Elementary Students Explore Future Job Opportunities with ‘Careers Alive Museum’

Canyon Crest Elementary School fourth-grader Eonie Vernon gives a presentation on the education and skills needed to become a veterinarian.
Canyon Crest Elementary School fourth-grader Eonie Vernon gives a presentation on the education and skills needed to become a veterinarian, one of more than 50 students participating in the school’s “Careers Alive Museum”.

Canyon Crest Elementary School fourth-grader Alexis Giddens has an ambitious post-graduation plan: study law at Harvard University, use her legal expertise to help enact gun control laws, complete one or two terms as a state governor, then ascend to the Presidency of the United States.

Giddens was one of more than 50 Canyon Crest third- through fifth-graders who led family, friends and community members through the school’s “Careers Alive Museum” on June 8, demonstrating in words and visuals what their professions will look like.

The museum culminated a two-week college and career exploration camp where students researched job opportunities, college admission requirements and professional resumes. Students applied their knowledge to create exhibits, design costumes and give presentations on several technological platforms.

“I learned what skills are needed to become a lawyer,” Giddens said. “I want to make laws that will make people safe; then I want to become president because they are the voice of the people.”

Museum visitors stood on colored dots to activate the student exhibit. Using laptops and tablets equipped with PowerPoint and Swipe interactive technology, students described their career choices, the qualifications needed, median pay scale, a job resume and their education plan.

Among the occupations presented were artist, astronaut, chef, computer support specialist, music teacher, obstetrician, paleontologist, physical therapist, veterinarian and video game designer.

“It is very important to instill in our students the importance of developing life skills, of having a growth mindset that will allow them to respond to challenges,” Canyon Crest Principal Dr. Kelly Wilbert said. “Our students responded with enthusiasm, using what they learned to develop a comprehensive education plan and enhance their problem-solving capabilities.”

Canyon Crest students began every morning with a pep rally, led by student leaders responsible for conducting the day’s lesson. Working individually or in teams, students developed post-secondary strategies that included alternative career plans.

Canyon Crest Elementary School fourth-grader Eonie Vernon gives a presentation on the education and skills needed to become a veterinarian.
Canyon Crest Elementary School students lead family and community members through the school’s “Careers Alive Museum” on June 8, the culmination of a two-week college and career exploration camp where students researched job opportunities and created exhibits.

During one pep rally, a former professional football player spoke to the students about his lifelong dream of playing in the NFL, only to find out after college that he did not have the physical skills to compete in the United States. After playing professionally in Germany, he returned to California to resume his education and acquire a teaching credential.

“We teach 6 Cs of education – creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, cooperation, communication and computation skills – and emphasize to the kids that while they are establishing high expectations for college and career, they also need to be realistic,” Canyon Crest Counselor Julie Bello said. “This means they must be multi-talented, bi-literate and perseverant.”

The career exploration camp was funded through a Fontana Foundation of Hope grant, which paid for teacher salaries, materials and supplies.

“The Careers Alive Museum brings students one step closer to becoming lifelong learners who are prepared for the academic and professional challenges of tomorrow,” Fontana Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “Thank you to Dr. Wilbert and her Fontana Unified staff for offering this wonderful opportunity to Canyon Crest students.”

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