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How Early Career Exploration Affects Equity

According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, two promising strategies which capitalize on environmental influences that push for equity are:

Career Integration Into Core Content


The Classroom and School as a Workplace

Career Discovery Labs from Paxton/Patterson introduces your students to dozens of careers with project-based learning.

Flexible, fun-filled, and ready-to-teach units for grades 4, 5 and 6 are perfect for supplemental use in the classroom, after or before school or for enrichment and intervention.

Picture your English learners stretching their vocabularies while they inspect their fingerprints looking for whorls and loops. Hear your students with disabilities exclaim with surprise as they watch their fingerprints appear like magic with magnetic dust. Imagine how you’ll feel when your low-income students say they want to be a Criminal Investigator when they grow up.

That’s exactly the hands-on, career focused learning you would have observed at Exeter Unified in June. Mrs. Stout’s summer school class conducted experiments with the Forensic Science Unit. One student was so fascinated by the ink chromatography activity he did extra samples at home.


“My 4th and 5th grade students are really having a lot of fun with forensics. They're highly engaged."

Margaret Stout


Exeter Unified School District


“Summer school hasn’t been embraced when viewed as compulsory intervention in the past, so our goal this year was to make learning as fun as possible. We’re still able to integrate science, math and vocabulary, but by making it project-based and more hands-on, students have been enjoying it a lot more and attendance is better.

We are looking forward to using the curriculum with more elementary students in a supplemental way when the school year starts."

Melanie Dorough

Ed.D., Deputy Superintendent

Exeter Unified School District


Curious about the equity impact this program can have for your students?

Let’s talk. We're excited for you to see how early career exploration can improve equity at your school.

Provided by:


Dr. Patrick Akos

School of Education

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Hands-On / Minds-On


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