FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LAGUNA BEACH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
CONTACT: ANAKAREN URENO
(949) 497-7700 EXT. 5317
June 25, 2019
Laguna Beach High School seeks mentors to participate in Authentic Exploratory Research program launching in the fall
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. - Laguna Beach High School is seeking mentors to participate in Authentic Exploratory Research (AER), a student self-directed project-based learning program set to launch in the fall.
Focused on real-world application, AER asks students to identify a field of interest and pairs each student with a volunteer mentor in that field. The role of the mentor is to provide students with professional expertise and guidance as they work through one of three study plans: a business challenge that results in the resolution of a real-world business issue, an action-based project that solves a real-world problem, or academic research that concludes with an oral defense.
"The mentorship component is vital to this course. It is a one-on-one personalized learning experience for the student that connects them with an individual who is personally invested in their success, teaching them the value of building meaningful professional relationships," said AER Mentor Coordinator Jenn Lundblad. "These are mutually beneficial relationships that build community capacity," she concluded.
AER, inspired by Palo Alto Unified School District’s Advanced Authentic Research program, is an independent research course in which students propose driving questions to explore their passions and career pathways in a variety of fields. The program was designed to encapsulate six experiences identified by Gallup (Crabtree, 2019) as the keys to success in the job market: a caring teacher, an inspiring teacher, a mentor, a long-term project, an internship, and involvement in extracurricular activities.
“Authentic Exploratory Research steps away from the traditional teaching methods to create a space for student-generated project-based learning where students will solve complex problems using a combination of skills, including reading, writing, math, teamwork, research gathering, time management, and information synthesizing,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jason Viloria. “With the introduction of this elective course with real-life practice and relevant social contexts, we want to encourage students to become independent workers, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners,” he concluded.
Interested mentors will be paired with a mentee according to the field of the student’s choosing and invited to attend an orientation to review the AER Mentor Handbook and go over any questions. Once the student-mentor partnership is established, it will be up to the student and the mentor to determine when and where they will meet. Mentors can expect a time commitment of 40 to 50 hours throughout the school year.
To participate as a mentor, contact AER Mentor Coordinator Jenn Lundblad at 949-497-7750 ext. 1216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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