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November 12, 2018

Use the Latest SkillsUSA Champions Magazine in Your Classroom

Each issue of SkillsUSA Champions magazine provides various opportunities to build essential SkillsUSA Framework skills with your students. Using their electronic devices, student members can access the issue in responsive digital format at this link: https://read.nxtbook.com/mercury/skillsusa/champions_fall_2018/fall_2018_cover.html


A lesson plan for the Fall issue can be downloaded from the SkillsUSA home page or directly at: https://www.skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Lesson-Plan-Fall-2018.pdf


The lesson plan includes guided-reading questions and activities to help students apply the articles to their SkillsUSA experience. Have students check out the story “Taking a Road Less Traveled” in this issue of the magazine and discover how Rohini Dhand went from a shy "new student" to SkillsUSA leader and eventually co-founder of an organization helping others.

“Taking a Road Less Traveled”


Content Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever been “new” somewhere? How did you feel?
  2. How do you welcome others at home? In school? In SkillsUSA? In the workplace?
  3. How do you make decisions at home? In school? In SkillsUSA? In the workplace?
  4. When have you taken the road less traveled? What happened?
  5. When have you decided against taking the road less traveled? How did you feel?


In-Class Activity, 15 minutes

Workplace Skills: Teamwork, Respect and support my team members

Materials needed: None

Divide students into groups of four. Give these instructions:

  1. Think back over your school career.
  2. Identify a moment when everything was great about yourself and you were operating in high gear.
  3. Perhaps it was a spelling-bee performance that you crushed, team science-fair project, or reward for improving a class grade.
  4. Whatever the circumstances, identify the moment that you believe you were performing at your best.


Pause for students to think, then ask them to: Share this moment with your group with as much vivid detail as you can remember. Allow about 10 minutes for discussions. Bring students back together. Facilitate a discussion by asking questions including:

  • What themes did you notice as the stories were shared?
  • How can we create a classroom in which more of these themes occur more often?
  • How can you create a workplace in which more of these themes occur often?
  • How does support from others help you perform at your best?
  • How do you respect and support your peers in school? In SkillsUSA? In the workplace?


Extended Learning Activity

Workplace Skills: Decision Making, Determine the best outcome

Read Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Traveled,” which can easily be found online. As a class, discuss the poem and the decision-making process that the man goes through: The first stanza sets up the conflict. In the second stanza, the speaker chooses a road. In the third, the speaker decides to travel the other road another day, knowing that this may or may not happen. Finally, in the last stanza, the speaker knows that regardless, the story will be great to share with others and show the importance of making a decision and how it affected his life.


Student Leaders Collaborate to Make Positive Change

The Citizen University Youth Collaboratory is a yearlong program for 24 highly motivated students from around the country who are passionate about making a positive change in their communities and country. The Youth Collaboratory is one component of Citizen University’s Youth Power Project, a multiyear effort supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation to empower and connect a rising generation of civic leaders and doers.


Applicants must be current high-school sophomores or juniors. To learn more and to apply, go to: www.citizenuniversity.us/youth-power-project. The application deadline is Nov. 13.


Skilled Trades Students Can Apply to Study in Germany

Open your door to the world while developing your skills! A unique full-ride scholarship allows graduating high school seniors pursuing careers in the skilled trades the opportunity to spend a gap year in Germany living with a host family, participating in a school or training program, and getting hands-on work experience through internships with German companies. No prior German language study is required. The Congress-Bundestag Vocational Youth Exchange is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. For more information, please see the Nacel Open Door website: www.nacelopendoor.org.


Take Up the Challenge! National Conference Pin and T-Shirt Design

Feb. 5 is the deadline for entries to be received (not postmarked) for the SkillsUSA National Conference Pin and T-shirt Design Challenge. This event is open to all paid student members of SkillsUSA. This is a great way to have a student and advisor from your state recognized. Rules are posted on the SkillsUSA website at: www.skillsusa.org/competitions/pin-design-challenge/. Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or hwalsh@skillsusa.org.


Free Safety Resources Available for Postsecondary Educators

Statistics indicate that every day, two to three workers die on construction sites in the United States. New and young workers are at highest risk for injury. But through safety education, career and technical programs can help keep future workers safe.

Free resources are available to help postsecondary instructors and administrators:

  • Assess your program, using the online assessment tools, to determine how it’s doing in the areas of safety and health management systems, instructor qualifications and support, effective teaching and learning, and offsite learning
  • Learn how to prepare students to work safely in hazard-filled environments
  • Download and share handouts that can be used at your meetings


The free resources are now available at: http://bit.ly/cte-guide.


SkillsUSA has supported this effort, based on research conducted in 2015-16 by the University of California Berkeley’s Labor Occupational Health Program and West Virginia University’s Injury Control Research Center. Other supporters include the Association for Career and Technical Education, the Association for Skilled and Technical Sciences, and the National Council for Workforce Education. Funding came from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), through CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.


Register by Nov. 15 to Receive These Membership Incentives

Why is it important to register yourself as a professional member of SkillsUSA? Becoming a professional member of SkillsUSA is one of the best ways you can demonstrate to your students the importance of the organization and the opportunities that membership will provide. As a professional member, you will receive online access to the following: 2019 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards, Jump into STEM! curriculum and SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations.


SkillsUSA professional members, as a no-cost member benefit, receive the aforementioned items when they have submitted a current and accurate email address along with their membership details. The 2019 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards is available online to professional members as part of their paid membership. Once membership has been submitted, an email will be sent to the address on file that will include a PIN to access the items electronically.


As a special membership incentive, register at least 15 student members in your training program plus one or more professionals by Nov. 15, and you will receive a free educational resource item, The Four Pillars: Your Personal Leadership Journey (value: $4.95). Instructors who register with 100-percent membership plus one or more professionals will also receive a SkillsUSA Program of Work calendar (value: $5.95).


For more details on these incentives, see the membership kits or visit the SkillsUSA website:

www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/5-register-students-members-skillsusa/ or you can begin to register yourself and your students at: www.skillsusa-register.org


Help is Only a Call, Email or Chat Away!

Hotline operators are ready to answer your questions on how to start a new chapter, engage chapter members and strengthen an existing chapter. Operators are on call from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (Eastern time) Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday and Thursday. Call the hotline toll free: 844-875-4557.


Don’t have time to call? Send the operators an email at operators@skillsusa.org or chat with them online at the membership registration site.