FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Summer Learning to Support Your Career Path and Help Your Team

Jun 28, 2023 Written by Lori Birch, Senior Specialist, Education Workforce Development




Looking to help your team increase knowledge and also improve students' learning for their future careers? If you want content to keep students engaged in the off-season, the Thinkscape courses are designed to help students gain skills to support their FIRST® team within the team role.



FIRST® Tech Challenge and FIRST® Robotics Competition teams now have access to a Career Planning Toolkit that can help them. These lessons are meant to support students over multiple seasons to connect their learning on their FIRST team and career path. These lessons include career interest tools to help students identify roles that might suit them on a team and help them create learning goals to support their careers. Students can use these goals to increase skills on their resume to support their education path. They are also guided in learning for a future career through work-based learning, industry certifications, internships, and apprenticeships.



In the first lesson, students utilize ASA Futurescapes to identify possible career pathways. As students identify possible career possibilities, they are guided to different resources to help increase their learning. This learning can help them increase their knowledge and skills for the team and help them with their future career. They can utilize different learning resources to help them further identify what they “like” to learn.



The second lesson is on building a resume. This lesson provides students with guidance on how to present their skills combining FIRST Core Values along with the technical skills they have acquired and will acquire while on a FIRST team so that they can stand out in applications in education and the workforce. This lesson includes examples of a student resume and a professional resume which can inspire students to develop their resumes. The Career Portfolio Template gives students a step-by-step guide for matching their career interests to their skills and how to incorporate them into their resumes.



Additional lessons in the Career Planning Toolkit walk students through different learning opportunities they might take advantage of to improve their career skills. Work-based learning is a growing trend for improving students’ skills in possible career pathways. A work-based learning toolkit is incorporated so that students and coaches can guide and document student’s learning along a particular career interest. Some schools are even giving credit for work-based learning opportunities. This tool provides a framework for students and coaches to advocate for possible credit for learning outside of school time.

Another way students might earn credit for knowledge learned outside the classroom is through industry certifications. Many of our sponsors offer industry certifications and some are free for students. In the next blog, we will look deeper into the value of industry certifications and the current learning modules available to support them.



The last components of the career planning toolkit are internships and apprenticeships. Because internships and apprenticeships are often through local opportunities, students are encouraged to look for these opportunities and understand their value in connecting their FIRST team experience to a career field and job opportunity.

These modules can be accessed through the FIRST Dashboard for teams for the upcoming season using Thinkscape.  To learn more about accessing Thinkscape content use these directions.

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This is very interesting and I really like the idea and good points, but good topic. I need to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for the excellent information. I am also into manufacturing and automation.

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