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July 19, 2018

Hands-On Learning Leads 8th Graders To Real-World Experiences


MEXICO – Some Mexico Middle School students are getting a jumpstart on potential future career opportunities one hands-on learning experience at a time.

Eighth grader Andrew Centrone works on repairing the motor to a lawn mower as teacher Steven Connolly explains how its inner-workings function.

Eighth grader Andrew Centrone works on repairing the motor to a lawn mower as teacher Steven Connolly explains how its inner-workings function.

Eighth graders enrolled in the Exploratory Occupations class are nearing the completion of their eighth and final unit of the 2017-18 school year.

The units, such as small engine repair, have taught several students how to apply math, scientific, English language arts skills learned in core academic classes to the topics of interest for each student.

Teacher Steven Connolly said his full-year class further engages students in their education, especially for at-risk students who have since found their way while on the educational path the class has paved for them.

Some students, he said, have found potential career interests and pursue those at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation when they attend Mexico High School.

Units have included construction, culinary, woodworking, financial literacy and career research.

With the recent small engine unit, students were tasked with finding MMS staff members who needed old lawn mowers, weed eaters, chainsaws or other related machines that were in need of repair.

Connolly guided students as they were tasked with communicating with their “client,” diagnosing the problem, filling out an invoice and relaying money required to purchase parts, fixing and testing the rebuild product.

“You can see the pride when (equipment) works,” he said.

All 11 students will plan and organize a class barbeque in June to celebrate the successes they have had all year.

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