The Canastota Apprentice is an experiential learning program that fosters the competitive spirit in students and prepares students to be college and career ready through completion real world tasks. Modeled after competitive reality television shows, this 10 week program infuses 21st Century skills with the application of technology as a tool to reach goals and present tasks. Students are divided into two teams and are presented with a task to complete weekly. Each task becomes more challenging and deep learning naturally unfolds as a result of progressing through the program. Students present the results of the task completed to a panel of judges: faculty, administration and community leaders. The loosing team faces the boardroom where one team member will be fired. The teacher has two business advisers, faculty, that assist with the boardroom meeting and facilitate decision making as a group through consensus (modeling appropriate team skills to students). After students are "fired" they are "re-hired" in a capacity that the teacher determines. Usually a skill set demonstrated will determine the new "job title". For example, a foreign exchange student from Hungary was re-hired as "International Business Adviser." The class continues to work for the organization in some capacity. Community service opportunities flourish as students complete tasks. Parterships developed by students in the 2011-2012 school year include: Donald Trump, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, Wanderer's Rest Humane Association, Sunshine Foods Inc., Morrisville State College, Your News Now, Lune Chocolat. Students also learn to take initiative. For example students contacted local and national news outlets regarding the program. Students utilize various technologies to complete and present tasks weekly including: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Publisher, PhotoStory, Movie Maker, PhotoShop, DreamWeaver and flip cameras. Students also took the initiative to encompass on-line social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook. The winner of the Canastota Apprentice wins a laptop and the opportunity to job shadow as Principal for the day. This program focuses on college and career readiness to prepare students to be "hired!"
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