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Teacher Comments Relating to Curriculum

Again, the curriculum was very well designed and helped our kids to be well prepared to get the most out of their time at Job Spark!

The Career Cluster card activity was great. I put the kids in groups and made it a competition. It made them aware of careers that they didn’t know fell into certain categories.

It is a great opportunity for students.  Thank you for providing this event!

This (curriculum) was very well designed and helped our kids to be well prepared to get the most out of Job Spark!

Definitely prepared the students for the JobSpark field trip.

What was the most valuable part of the JA JobSpark program?

The hands-on component of everything!  The pre-planning material was also a nice touch to get our kids prepared.

Finding community resources with which my students could work directly.

Love the hands-on nature of the exhibits! Fantastic!

The opportunity for students to see and experience all of the different types of careers they learned about during the classroom lessons.

It gave students the opportunity to look at different Career Paths.

The hands-on experience that our students had with various occupations.  The representative from the various corporations were very personable and explained things very well to our students

Our kids came away with so much more to consider than they’d ever imagined. It really lit a fire under them! My own son and daughter both were overjoyed at what they saw and learned.  It gave them ideas and options they never knew existed!

Watching the engagement of my students as they participated in the activities.

The hands-on experiences and interactions at the stations were by far the best part.  Students that couldn’t see themselves liking any career path were really able to identify areas of interest.  It was really fun and engaging, all the volunteers were high energy.

The variety of different careers represented, the space-plenty of room to move around and no long lines, student interaction with volunteers and hands on opportunities.

JA JobSpark FAQ’s

Q: What is JA JobSpark?

A: JA JobSpark is a hands-on career expo for all Marion County 8th graders, held on September 26th and 27th at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Q: Who can participate?

A: All Marion County public schools are invited to participate in JA JobSpark.

Q: Who is planning and leading this event?

A: A coalition of central Indiana educators, organizations and representatives from over 100 companies working in partnership on the Career Success Initiative, led by Junior Achievement of Central Indiana. These companies have currently committed approximately 2,000 volunteers to engage with students throughout the day.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: There is no fee for schools to participate. All materials, including hands-on curriculum, JA JobSpark t-shirts for students and lanyards for teachers, healthy snacks, industry-provided materials and a keepsake program guide, will be provided.

Q: Which businesses will be represented at JA JobSpark?

A: Over 100 businesses have committed resources, volunteers and industry experts. The City of Indianapolis has a vested interest in impacting academic and career success for students in Marion County. See Industry Section for a list of JA JobSpark companies.

Q: What industries will be represented?

A: Industries with high-demand jobs and careers are represented and divided into eight industry clusters: Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics; Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Architecture, Engineering and Construction; Business and Finance; Government, Law and Public Service; Health and Life Sciences; Hospitality and Tourism; Technology

Q: Is JA JobSpark a job fair?

A: No. Students will have quality interactions with skilled and professional workers who work directly in these jobs and will have a number of hands-on opportunities to utilize equipment and participate in interactions that actually occur within the industries.

Q: What if my school needs transportation to the event?

A: Most schools will use their own transportation to get to and from JA JobSpark. If a participating school requires assistance with transportation, please let us know and we will work with you to provide assistance. We do not want transportation issues to impact your participation.

Q: What is the schedule for the day?

A: JA JobSpark will run for two days. Schools will attend on one day only during a designated time slot for your school. Schools may break up their days to bring different classes on each day. Students will interact with a host of skilled and professional workers for a total of a 2 hour hands-on experience. These adults will receive prior training, and be prepared to engage students in planning for their futures.

Q: I am bringing a large group. Will there be volunteers assigned to my group during the event?

A: Yes! There will be over 1,500 trained volunteers from Eli Lilly, IU Health and additional JA JobSpark businesses. Volunteers will meet you at your bus, guide students through the zones, engage students in activities and career-related discussions and assist with exiting them back to the bus.

Q: With a variety of college and career readiness activities out there, how is JA JobSpark different?

A: JA JobSpark is modeled after similar hands-on career expos that have been successfully implemented in several other U.S. cities, including Mobile, AL, Nashville, TN and Portland, OR. Over a period of a few years, best practices have been determined, metrics have been captured and a proven track record of success has been established. JA JobSpark is the first of its kind in Indianapolis. Participation is expected to reduce drop-out rates, increase graduation rates, and increase students’ ability to plan for a successful future.

Q: What can my students expect to get out of attending JA JobSpark?

A: JA JobSpark is meant to “spark” an interest in students. Through participation in JA JobSpark, students will learn about themselves – their skills, interests and values for workplace readiness and will learn about industries and occupations in demand. Students will have a better understanding of the courses to take in high school, a track for post-secondary and a clear career pathway identified.

Q: How will students prepare to attend JA JobSpark?

A: JA makes it easy! Teachers will receive online training and materials will be provided. Prior to attending JA JobSpark, students will participate in 3 sessions delivered by their classroom teacher. As a part of the curriculum, students will take a career interest assessment and utilize their results to guide them through the industry clusters at the event. After students attend JA JobSpark, teachers will deliver one 30 minute session to recap and follow up from the event.

Q: How will the student flow work within the 8 Industry Clusters?

A: Students will spend a total of 2 hours in the JA JobSpark experience. During this time they will actively participate or observe hands-on activities to demonstrate real jobs within the industry. Teachers are responsible for their students at all times during JA JobSpark.  It is at the teacher’s discretion to determine the student flow for their group.  Teachers can keep an organized flow throughout the experience, or allow students to move freely.  Meeting points can also be designated at the halfway mark.

Q: How does JA JobSpark live on past the event?

A: There will be opportunities for students to continue to engage with JA JobSpark businesses, including future job shadow and/or internship opportunities. It is encouraged that teachers share career related resources and JA JobSpark information with parents. Contact Junior Achievement about its K-12 in-school programs, summer camp, JA BizTown and more.

GET INVOLVED!

Contact Cindy Kicinski at cindyk@jaindy.org.