Robbinsdale Area Schools

New career and technical education programming focuses on non-traditional students

New career and technical education programming focuses on non-traditional students

Students at Armstrong High School (AHS) had new and exciting educational offerings this year in the realm of math and science.

The Supermileage Club launched this year, and participants include students taking classes in aerospace engineering, metals, small gas engines, or transportation engineering. The club is geared towards those who are interested in super mileage and engineering, and participants had the unique experience of driving super mileage cars at the Indianapolis motor speedway. 

In addition, those enrolled in aerospace engineering and chemistry had the chance to participate in the NASA Hunch program. (Learn more about the program in this story from earlier this year.)

What do these new classes and clubs have in common? They offer hands-on learning opportunities, with a math and science focus. As these programs continue to grow, Rdale’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) staff hope to increase participation in engineering and manufacturing classes – especially among female and non-traditional students.

Kyra Bednarz, a junior at AHS, is part of the NASA Hunch Program and the Supermileage Club speaks highly of the classes. 

“These classes are important to have available to high school students because they break up the day from typical math and English classes that are mostly done sitting at a desk and listening to a teacher,” said Bednarz. “Instead, these classes provide opportunities to work with your hands and think critically while designing and building things to solve different challenges.”

Brian Sobiech, secondary instructional support specialist with the district shared plans of expanding these course offerings and exposing all students to available programming is the focus of CTE staff looking ahead to the upcoming school year. This work is also part of a broader movement. Providing a variety of CTE options for all students helps to combat gender assumptions. 

“We want students to learn about all the possibilities open to them, to explore careers some students may not have traditionally been involved in, such as females in the engineering field,” said Sobiech. “Some students have more interest in the hands-on learning activities and real-world applications that take place through CTE programming,” Sobiech added. “This type of learning may not be found in your typical classroom experience.” 

CTE staff have plans to expand these course offerings at both Armstong and Cooper high schools. The efforts to increase participation with female students and students of color will also continue.

“It’s important for anyone and everyone to participate in these programs if they want to, this includes girls,” said Bednarz. “People should be able to try new things and explore their interests without worrying they may not fit in.”