On October 19th, Perry 6th graders had the opportunity to explore various career pathways through off-campus experiences based on their own interests during the annual Share Your Genius Day (SYGD). Pathways included aviation, performing arts, fine arts, public safety, welding, the environment, fire/EMT, and public safety.
SYGD was named out of the belief that everyone has a “genius” and that every student should explore their interests and passions. Throughout the event, experts in each pathway shared their own genius with students to enable them to see their own potential outside of the classroom.
Students were able to travel to different locations for a personalized experience. For example, the performing arts group visited the Willoughby Fine Arts Center where they learned about theater design including lighting, sound, sets, costumes, and marketing.
Led by Perry School’s Career Exploration Specialist, Rita Soeder and Gifted Enrichment Specialist, Jodi Hicks, SYGD enables students to get an idea of what a career in their chosen field might look like. “SYGD is different than a typical day at school”, said Soeder, “When students re-enter the building from their experiences, they are full of energy and enthusiasm, even if they learned it may not be a pathway they want to pursue.”
Prior to SYGD, students took an interest profiler survey that matched students with their top three career clusters. They relayed those results to their teachers along with notes about their own interests and favorite things to do.
“It can open you up and make you think about your future,” said 6th grader, Brad Kruger, who chose the environmental pathway. Brad was able to hear from professionals from the Lake Metroparks and tour the Perry Nuclear Power Plant which he has always taken an interest in as a career option.
Student, Evan Waddle went to the Lake County Executive Airport within the aviation pathway. They were able to fly drones, see aircraft, construct models, and run flight simulators. “They said they need mechanics, and I would be a really good mechanic,” said Waddle, “I would love to do this in the future because I like flying planes and fixing planes too.”
This was the 7th year the Perry School District has run SYGD and the 4th that students have traveled off campus for their career experiences.
Special thanks to our friends at Lake Metroparks, the Perry Nuclear Power Plant, the Lake County Executive Airport, The Willoughby Fine Arts Center, Stella's Art Gallery, the DEA Cleveland Office, Lakeland Community College, Component Repair Technologies and the Perry Fire Department,