Career and Technical Education/STEM

News from the DIrector of CTE/STEM

Career and Technical Education/STEM - News from the DIrector of CTE/STEM

Heavy Equipment class is a huge Success !


Students in the heavy equipment operator class at GHS/Tech watch and listen as Mr. Verasstro explains the operation and safety features of the Caterpillar mini-excavator recently purchased as part of this new program. Students will operate this piece of equipment in the practice yard and eventually learn to dig foundations, pipe trenches, etc. This is a great STEM class because the students learn about soils, rock, trees, “shooting a grade”, measurement, metrics,welding, and diesel mechanics.

GHS Robotics team- Junkyard Dogs- begins another season!

FIRST challenge: six weeks to build a robot!
Members of the “Junkyard Dogs” robotics team from Goochland H.S. gathered at Virginia Commonwealth University January 3 to pick up technical components to compete in this year’sFIRST Robotics Competition.  Teams have just six weeks to design and build remote controlled robots to grapple totes, recycling containers and pool noodles.  Along the way, FIRSTparticipants will learn real-world job skills and become eligible for millions of dollars in college scholarships.
Seen here in front of the VCU Rams horns are: Coach Bruce “Doc” Davies, mentors Brian Davies, John Julock and Will Davies, and students Lindzea Franklin, Josh Hobbs, Chris Mann, Jake Liesfeld, William Glaveskas, Hunter Glaveskas, and Max Spivey.


The team is looking for new members! Students who like to design, build, program, compete, should join the team! Ask any of the current members for more details !

3D Printing: Bringing Jobs Back to The US!

There has been a lot of buzz about 3D printing recently and it is one of the skills/technologies that will continue to be in the news. The article in this website gives more details about how 3D printing is impacting manufacturing and the workers that will be needed to run the printers.


GHS and GMS have 3D printers for students to use in their Technology Ed./pre-engineering classes!

What new Career and Technical Education courses would you like to see added?


What new courses would you like to see GHS and GMS add to their CTE programs? GCPS has made great strides the past two years in the expansion of our CTE offerings, but we want to ensure we continue to meet the needs and passions of our students.

We also want to make sure we are meeting the needs of the workforce and exposing students to careers where there will be growth and openings for our students when they enter the workforce.

We welcome your thoughts and suggestions as we continue improve our CTE offerings.

THINK AND DO- What happens in CTE Classes Everyday!

While watching the N.C. State vs FSU game last Saturday, an infomercial for N.C. State came on with the logo to the right and the words-


These words describe what students do in our CTE classes everyday! Career and Technical Education is where we merge academics with hands-on activities. problem-solving, design, testing, redesign, and on to the to the finished product.  Maybe more important than academics and hands-on activities merging, CTE  classes are where students can apply what they learn in their academic classes!

CTE students  receive the information and basic skills to help them find their passion and be college and career ready!

The First Day of Engineering Class at GHS! Marshmallows?

Students in Engineering I went right to work on the first day of class designing and building. Mr. Bouwens gave each group the challenge to build the tallest tower possible given the following parameters; 30 minutes, unlimited amount of spaghetti, 20 small marshmallows, and 4 large marshmallows.







Even though the students were using spaghetti and marshmallows, they were challenged to design, work in groups, problem – solve, measure, and apply learned knowledge.

“Creativity is Intelligence Having Fun” Albert Einstein

STEM in Virginia: Innovation and Opportunity

Virginia is a national leader in technology and innovation—by 2020, it is estimated that STEM will provide employment opportunities for over 100,000 Virginians. Moreover, beyond the many career choices in the specific fields included in STEM, the technological competence and problem solving skills encouraged in this cluster will only become increasingly important for today’s young job-seekers, no matter what fields they pursue. STEM instruction remains a high priority for all high school CTE programs in Virginia, as explained in the recently-released Career Cluster Brief, STEM in Virginia, and summarized below:

 Virginia’s computer systems design and related services industry is among the largest in the nation.

 Virginia received $3.56 billion in Federal research and development contracts in 2013—the third highest total state grant in the country.

Students can find motivation and inspiration in the wide variety of STEM opportunities available in the Commonwealth, in fields such as:

 Advanced manufacturing;

 Cyber security;

 Aerospace engineering;

 Nuclear physics; and

 Biotechnology


The majority of occupations in STEM require at least a Bachelor’s degree. Most occupations are expected to see growth in the next several years, and several—such as Engineering Managers and Aerospace Engineers—have median salaries of over $115,000.


STEM skills, such as problem solving, creative thinking, and sound analysis of data, are important for all students, whatever field they pursue. In order to foster such skills, many advocate for:

 Hands-on, problem- or project-based learning experiences in the classroom;

 Strong technology support and initiative within school divisions; and

 Student IT organizations or classes, which may serve the dual purpose of improving IT support and fostering student skills.

A strong economy in Virginia depends on continued growth and strength of STEM related occupations. Students prepared to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are crucial for the economic vitality of the Commonwealth, as well as for national competitiveness.

Highlights from the STEM in Virginia Career Cluster Brief