There’s no substitute for real experience. That was a big takeaway for teachers and administrators from Union Grove High School (UGHS) following their tours of local businesses and industries in April.

Participants in “teacher externships” see it as a way to connect classroom content and learning strategies to the workplace. They were able to observe skills such as critical and creative thinking, technology literacy, productivity and leadership in action. Armed with this understanding, teachers can design and implement classroom activities, projects and work-based learning opportunities that will add relevance and meaning to classroom learning.

According to Union Grove Principal Tom Herman, “I heard nothing but positive comments on our staff’s experience out in industry. The teachers are buzzing about how to share what they learned and how to package what they learned into usable curriculum. The students of UGHS are much better for this experience.”

Anne Nordholm, Ph.D., director of education and training partnerships for the Milwaukee 7, added, “This teacher-employer collaboration may lead to activities in which students work in groups, engage in cooperative learning and work to solve real-life, problem-based assignments.” Businesses and educators were also able to build relationships with business partners.

Participating businesses included:
•    Potowatomi
•    Southeast Carpentry Center
•    Precision Plus
•    Krones
•    Badger Meter
•    Gateway IMet Center
•    Kenall
•    Nelson Bros and Strom Company
•    Quick Cable
•    Miller Park
•    Rockwell Automation

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