ECI is Tuskawilla Middle School’s Career Exploration and Entrepreneurship Program with a foundation in design thinking and problem-based learning. Considering the amount of college-level courses in high school and high-school credit courses in middle school today, it’s almost too late to wait until high school to begin looking at careers. Middle school is that time where students need the opportunity to explore their interests to ignite their passion that might lead to a purposeful career. How many of us have known people who have gone to college, finished degrees and decided they didn’t really want to do that anymore? Wouldn’t it be better if they had the chance to try on different careers to find their interests earlier? ECI was built with this vision in mind.
- In 6th grade we have all students take a Career Exploration class in which they investigate a variety of careers to find a match for their personal strengths.
- In 7th grade they get to specialize in career options of their choosing under the umbrellas of Business, Design, Medical, Service and Technology where they do hands-on activities to discover what is new and innovative.
- In 8th grade students will work to develop a Business Model Canvas in which they will solve an industry problem working alongside with Business Partner mentors, taking that solution from ideation to pitch moment.
ECI directly feeds into Lake Howell High School’s Entrepreneurship Academy and their AA in Business offered through Seminole State. ECI is not just a program, it is a culture here at Tuskawilla Middle School.
8th Grade ECI: Innovate
The 8th grade ECI – Innovate classes culminate in a Career Expo event.
The Career Expo consists of:
- Tuskawilla Think Tank Presentations – students worked in groups to develop a business plan, create a prototype, and develop marketing for a product of their creation. They presented to a panel of business partners and received feedback in a “Shark Tank” style format.
- Resume Writing/Mock Interviews – Business partners worked with students in small groups to develop resumes and conduct mock interviews, focusing on skills to develop their personal brand.
- Next Steps – representatives from Lake Howell Entrepreneurship Academy and AA program, Seminole State College Department of Entrepreneurship and UCF spoke with students in a small group format to discuss opportunities in Entrepreneurship after students leave Tuskawilla.
- Living on My Own – a hands-on, real-life simulation that gives middle school students the opportunity to experience their futures in a fun and exciting way. They are encouraged to make healthy and wise lifestyle choices similar to those that adults face on a daily basis. It is designed to be a partnership among UF/Seminole County Extension Program, community partners and Seminole County Public Schools Dividends.
If you would like to volunteer for one of our events, please email email@example.com.
The Career Expo provides students an opportunity to become an expert on the topic of their choice and become leaders who can enact change in an area about which they are passionate.
Please view this episode of Channel 6 Getting Results for Our Schools for more information.
What is ECI?
Our program was developed with guidance from an extensive Business Advisory Board with members from all areas of Business, Design, Medicine, Service and Technology. Frequent guest speakers provide real-world insight into a variety of career possibilities. Our ECI program includes two award-winning Robotics teams - the Falconbots and the Falconbytes.
One of the core philosophies of ECI is to expose students to a wide variety of career opportunities that are available to them. Past speakers have included:
- Mechanical Engineer
- Professional Tailor
- Google Domain Partner
- Assistant Kitchen Manager/Chef
Interested in being a guest speaker? Email firstname.lastname@example.org