Building Mathematical Skills and Community Relationships Through Crash Reconstruction
Dr. Kelly Wamser Remijan from O’Fallon Township High School is always looking for activities to help her students build mathematical skills using real-world applications and careers. Recently she teamed up with Illinois State Trooper Brad Brachear from the Region IV Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit to show 9th grade pre-algebra students how crucial math is when reconstructing vehicle crashes.
Dr. Wamser Remijan described the accident reconstruction activity in an article for ASCD Express. The article is found at ASCD Express: Ideas from the Field.
Prosthetic Arm Design Challenge - Olympia High School
Chris Embry Mohr is a veteran science teacher at Olympia High School. Since 2011, Mrs. Mohr has been involved
with science education on a national level serving on the Life Science Writing Team to create the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These standards were officially adopted by the State of Illinois in 2014 and she is working hard to educate her fellow teachers through workshops and graduate classes. For the past three years, she has been integrating engineering design which is part of the new standards in a classroom project called “Prosthetic Arm Design Challenge.” Utilizing a family farm accident as a real-life example, she asks students to design, construct, evaluate, and redesign a prosthetic arm that mimics the structure and function of a human arm to perform basic daily functions. The project includes the following learning targets that engage students in all three dimensions of the NGSS (scientific and engineering practices, cross-cutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas): develop and use a model to illustrate the structure of the human arm and how these structures allow the arm to move or perform its function; illustrate the relationship between atoms, molecules, organelles, cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems; design, evaluate, and revise a prosthetic model to mimic the structure and function of a human arm; and construct a model using tools and machines safely and accurately. Students communicate scientific and technical ideas for how the prosthetic arm compares in structure and function to a human arm and develop a model to illustrate the role of cellular division (mitosis) and differentiation in producing and maintaining complex organisms. This project requires students to evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on scientific knowledge, prioritized criteria, and trade-off constraints. For more information about the project, contact Chris Embry Mohr at
No Job Left Behind
The No Job Left Behind initiative facilitates conversations between educators and businesses with the intent of helping students better understand the jobs available in manufacturing and logistics in Central Illinois. The initiative began in November 2013 when members of education and industry in Moultrie County were pulled together by the Eastern Illinois Education for Employment office and the Sullivan Chamber & Economic Development. The program that started on that day has expanded to include Coles, Douglas and Shelby counties.
In 2013 the program started with 20 people and has expanded to almost 170 people interested in meeting and discussing ways to help businesses find willing workers. The partnership not only helps students understand the businesses in the Central Illinois Region, but is helping businesses in the region grow.
No Job Left Behind has four working committees:
- Marketing committee – promotes manufacturing jobs to improve the image of manufacturing especially to youth
- Work Ethics – reviews programs that could be introduced to youth to improve work ethics and soft skills
- Skills Gap Survey – administers an annual Skills Gap Survey forecasting jobs for the upcoming year
- Student/Career Connections – organizes and promotes activities for students to connect with area manufacturers. Examples include Manufacturing week Tours and an annual Student/Business luncheon.
Center for Career Discovery
Township High School District 214 has created the Center for Career Discovery. This center allows students to have authentic learning experiences that help meet their post-secondary goals and career path.
Learn more about the Center for Career Discovery
Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) Program
Entrepreneurship education seeks to prepare students to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers and contribute to economic development and sustainable communities. CEO students are immersed in real life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes.
What is the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) Program?