Nebraska Public Power District's Energy Education program would like to introduce you to our exciting new program: Pathways to a Technical Future. Funded in part with funding from the American Public Power Associations DEED grant, Pathways is a convergence of public power workforce skills, educational standards, and technology integration. 

A couple of years ago we were tasked with turning a young student playing video games into a young engineer using something like an Arduino. At the time it seemed like a pretty daunting task to find a path that would provide technical skills and spark the interest in preparing for the future. That is when the Pathways to a Technical Future program was born. An idea to connect school curriculum to workforce skills through an innovative process designed to empower student creativity and to teach them that “Figuring it out is an employable skill!”

The Pathways are a focused series of resources designed to guide students through six stages of developmental learning. The Foundation of Knowledge is a platform upon which all future success is built. This is your core curriculum, fundamental learning objectives, and essential workforce skills. Next comes the Analogy / Physical Domain a continuously variable physical quantity. Hands-on, experiential learning combined with human performance skills. A binary nature leads us to the Digital World. Ones and zeros used to communicate and share information. The Logic Universe utilizes scientific reasoning to take students through standard operating procedures and the ability to interface between the physical and digital worlds through code. Informed decisions and formal assessments are made through gathering information about the world around us. The Data Matrix provides something from which another generates - yes collecting data leads to new questions and new ideas. Finally we reach the pinnacle of Innovation. Implementing of new ideas demonstrates the application of knowledge and the practice of process improvement.

Pathways to a Technical Future strives to provide opportunities for students to gain knowledge while acquiring practical skills, expertise and literacies that will equip them to be successful in the emerging STEM workforce. To accomplish this goal, the Pathways program is built upon a guiding spectrum that correlates “open source” learning with business fundamentals and educational strategies. “Open source” is an emerging education practice that allows students to capitalize on the Internet’s scope and power to create and manage their own learning experiences while producing interactive material available online to everyone.

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