Author:
Lynn Ann Wiscount
Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Middle School
Grade:
8
Tags:
  • Careers
  • Computational Thinking
  • POWER Library
  • Power Library
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Text/HTML

    Education Standards

    Exploring Careers Using Computational Thinking

    Exploring Careers Using Computational Thinking

    Overview

    Students need to be prepared for college or the workforce. This lesson plan allows students to use the computational thinking process to learn about careers.

    Lesson Overview

    Lesson Overview

    Students need to be prepared for college or the workforce. This lesson plan allows students to use decomposition to locate what career options will be perfect for them based on their interests.  Once they have located their "dream" careers, they will use pattern recognition to locate the commonalities and differences with the selected careers, abstraction to generation a model of what educational classes relat to each career, and then they will develop an algorithm in the form of a presentation to help other students understand the step by step process they will use toward obtaining their "dream" career.  As students work their way through the lesson, they will be creating items that will be placed in their portfolios. A portfolio is a collection of works that someone can use to display their skills and goals. This portofolio can then be used as their plan of study when they advance to high school.

    Lesson Objectives:

    Learners will:

    • Identify appropriate careers based on the results of the O*Net Interest Profiler.

    • Research their appropriate careers.

    • Use decomposition to break down careers into smaller components for comparison. 

    • Distinguish patterns betweek the careers they searched.

    • Investigate through abstraction which educational courses will be needed in high school to help them obtain their selected career.

    • Develop an algorithm of educational courses they need to take as they progress through high school.

    • Summarize in the form of a poster the job requirements for their career.

    • Journal their reflection in regards to what they have learned as part of this lesson, in terms of strengths and areas of focus related to the career choices investigated.

    What are your interests?

    Activity:

    • In this activity, students will use the O'Net Interest Profiler to discover what work activities are most relevant to them.  Once identified, they can then use the list to begin to research careers based on their interests.  Using one of the methods below, have the students take a few minutes to record what activities they like to do daily.  For this activity, the student should not think about how much education or training is needed or how much money then can make.  The interest profiler measures six types of occupational interests: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. There is a web-based version and also a paper and pencil version if you do not have computers in your classroom.
      • Method 1: Activity with computers
        • Make sure the students are logges into the computer and have an Internet browser opened.
        • Have the students go to the web-based Interest Profiler.
        • There are 60 questions. When the students are ready have them click on the blue button titles "Take the Web-based Interest Profiler now".
        • Have the students print out the results to place in their career portfolio.
      • Method 2: Activity without computers
        • Complete the Interest Profiler worksheet.
        • Complete page 1 of the Score Report worksheet to record a summary of the type of work you like. After totaling all the interest areas, record the interest with the highest score in the primary interest area and the next two highest in the second and third interested areas.
        • Each interest group contains jobs from various zones. A job zone is described as the level of preparation that is needed. This preparation includes education, training, and experience which is needed for the job.
        • Using page 2 of the Score Report Worksheet, read over the characteristics of each job zone and then pick the job zone based on your future plans.  Recors that zone on the bottom of the page.
        • Find your Primary Interest and look over the careers listed under that category and zone on the O*Net Career Listing.
        • Using the O*Net Careers Worksheet (page 4 of the Score Report Worksheet), record the Career Titles you want to research
        • Completed worksheets will be placed in the career portfolio of the student.

     

    Assessment:

    • Students will show the instructor the completed worksheets or the printed document depending on which method was used to complete this activity.  Assessment includes not only the written work, but also verbal discussion highlighting the careers and preparation needed.

    Exploring Careers

    Activity:

    • Decomposition is defined as the act of breaking an item into simpler parts. In this activity, students will use decomposition to research careers from the O*Net Career Worksheet based on the results of their Interest Profiler. Students will also use additional websites to search for other careers, not included as part of the O*Net Career Listing, that match their interest.
      • Have the students go to My Next Move and search for the careers recorded on their worksheet.
      • Have the students use the suggested websites to research additional career options that were not included in the initial career listing.
      • The students will use the Exploring Careers Worksheet to record their findings.

    Assessment:

    • Each student will share with the group what they discovered to be their "dream" career.  They will also share what skills are needed to be able to perform that job.

    Finding Patterns in Careers

    Activity:

    • In this activity, students will use pattern recognition to look at the similarities and difference between each of the careers that they selected in the Exploring Careers activity.  In addition to their interests and work skills, make sure the students also compare the economic factors (i.e. geographic location, job openings, etc.). Students will record their findings on the Similar and Different Worksheet.

    Assessment:

    • Completion of the Similar and Different Worksheet.

     

      Career Pathway Abstraction

      Activity:

      • Now that the students had some time to explore and research several careers, they will use the career they are most interested in and develop a model or abstraction to align it to the educational courses their school offers.  This abstraction will allow then to filter out those courses they do not need so they can focus on the important career requirements.  Their results will be used to create their career algorithm. The Educational Class Worksheet can be used by the students to record their findings.  This activity will help students develop a career pathway for them to attain to as they advance through high achool and ultimately become part of the workforce.

      Assessment:

      • Students will summarize their results using the Educational Class Worksheet or something similar.

       

        Career Algorithm Presentation

        Activity:

        • In this activity, students will demonstrate, via a presentation, an algorithm they will use to complete the goals of furthering their education in oder to reach the skills needed to be employed in their "dream job". This presentation can be created in any presentation program. (Some exampled include: Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Adobe Spark, etc.)

        Assessment:

        • The student will present their algorithm to the class and ask for feedback.

         

          Gallery Walk

          Activity:

          • This activity is designed to help assess what students have learned in this lesson.  The students will take on the role of a human resources offices and create job descriptions for careers of their "dreem" jobs. They will then hang them up arounf the classroom so students can do a gallery wal to see what skills are needed for each of the dream jobs.  Each student should have post-it notes to provide feedback.

          Assessment:

          • Once all the students have had time to finish the gallery walk, the assessment will be in the form of a group discussion so they can see patterns between all the jobs.  This is also a good time to talk about any soft skills and other items that may be needed.

          Reflection

          Activity:

          • The students will now include a reflection in their portfolios or journals. This reflection should address the following questions:

            • My final "dream" job was.
            • What three (3) new things did I learn about this career that I did not know before?
            • What two (2) things did I find interesting about this career?
            • What is one (1) question I still have about this career that I will continue to do research on?