Month: March 2016

Citizen Science

Citizen science is where kids and adults of all ages and abilities volunteer to assist professional scientists in their research. From monitoring bird migration, to tracking the timing when plants leaf, to identifying new galaxies in space, citizens scientists are at work all over the globe collecting data.

There are hundreds of projects across the nation and in your own back yard aiding real scientists in studying real issues.

Projects like….

Become a plant observer…bud

Phenology is the study of the timing when biological events occur such as when plants leaf, fruit, or blossom. Scientists who study phenology study the effect changes in seasons and climate have on the timing of these events. To see how you can help check out Project BudBurst.


Become a cloud watcher…cloud

Aid NASA scientists with observing clouds and learn how they affect the Earth’s systems at Students’ Cloud Observations


starBecome a night sky light observer….

Do you see stars or only city lights when you look out your door at night? Did you know you can measure the brightness of a night sky? The Globe At Night project will show you how and tell you why it’s important to keep our stars visible.


Curious how your canine went from the wild to being a pet…dog

Check out Darwin’s Dogs and help scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical school find out how.


butterflyHave you ever chased a butterfly…

Join The North American Butterfly Association to help monitor their populations.



Search the internet for citizen science projects in your area.

Below are links to some of the fun projects nationwide.

Project BudBurst
Disk Detective
Be A Martian
Rock Around The World
My NASA Data
Soil Collection
Migratory Dragonfly Partnership
Scientific American
National Geographic
Greatest Backyard Bird Count
National Wildlife Federation

Click here for a list of other Citizen Science projects.

What better way to have FUN and EXPLORE a career in science.

3 Methods to Conduct Career Research

After you’ve built your list of LIKES AND SKILLS you can start researching possible career options that will match.

As you search focus on the following:

-What type of work the job includes
-The type of education requirements
-The skills the position requires

Below are 3 ways to conduct your career search:

1. Career Clusterscareer cluster

A career cluster is a group of jobs possessing similar knowledge, skills and educational requirements. The U.S. Department of Education developed 16 career clusters as a way of providing a uniform framework for schools to organize curriculum around career planning.

Following are links to explore the 16 career clusters:

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Architecture and Construction
Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communication
Business Management and Administration
Education and Training
Government and Public Administration
Health Science
Hospitality and Tourism
Human Services
Information Technology
Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security
Marketing, Sales and Service
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

Additional sites to research career clusters:

2.  Job Boards                     job board

Career sites like Monster, Careerbuilder, and Indeed are good places to look at job descriptions for positions companies are currently recruiting to find professionals to fill.


Job descriptions will normally include:

Job Responsibilities/Duties – work the person will be responsible for performing
Experience Requirements –  experience the individual must already possess
Education Requirements – does the position need a degree and if so, what type
Skill Requirements – these are normally soft skills that might include: being able to communicate; work in a team environment; able to listen; able to manage time.

3. Professional Associationsassociation

These are groups of like-minded professionals. Generally speaking, every profession has an association.


You can find the following information at most professional association websites:

Job boards that list open positions for that particular profession
Links to local chapters. Find your local chapter and consider attending one of the meetings to meet professionals in the career field you would like to explore.
Activities for students

Below is a link to a comprehensive list of professional organizations:

No matter what method you use, you’ll be able to start building your list of possible careers that are right for you.

10 Reasons to Explore Nontraditional Careers

A nontraditional occupation is defined by the U.S. Department of Labor as an occupation where men or women compromise 25 percent of total employment.

engineerExamples of some nontraditional occupations for women include: engineer, scientist, auto mechanic, electrician, aircraft pilot, and computer programmer.


nurseExamples of some nontraditional occupations for men include: executive secretary, nurse, human resources, teacher, dental hygienist, and massage therapist.


Why consider a career in a nontraditional field:

1. You found your dream job. In an earlier post I mentioned that happiness should be the number one criteria in picking any career. It doesn’t matter if the position is categorized as nontraditional; if you’re going to be happy spending 10 hours a day doing the job…go for it.
2. Data supports that in some cases entering a job in a nontraditional field can warrant higher wages.
3. Be a trail blazer and a spokesperson for your career. Mentor other girls/boys to join you on the journey.
4. Nontraditional careers give you an opportunity to grow in ways you may never have thought possible and to accomplish tasks you didn’t think you could.
5. You will always be in demand. Businesses are quick to employ workers in nontraditional fields.
6. If college isn’t for you, not all nontraditional fields require a four year degree.
7. Because businesses are looking to employ girls/boys in nontraditional roles you’ll be more likely to be supported to succeed.
8. Empowerment from a job well done in a nontraditional occupation.
9. Nontraditional careers promote the development of technical skills.
10. Data supports choosing a career based on skills and abilities and not on gender promotes greater rewards and job satisfaction.

Use the links under ‘Websites’ to research careers in nontraditional occupations.



With so many career choices how do you ever decide what’s right for you?  You’ll want to first figure out what you like and what you’re good at.


Start a list. Following are some suggestions of what to include:

Classes I like in school
Activities I like (ex. music, reading, dance, building things, cooking with parents, computer games, etc.)
I like being indoors
I like being outside
I like getting up early in the morning.
I like staying up late at night.
I like helping people
I like to solve problems
I like to research and find answers
I like being around other kids
I like quiet time to think
I like animals (list any specific kinds)
I like gazing at the stars
I like looking at the ground
I like to be in charge
I like swimming


Write down what you’re good at. Some examples might include:

Working with other kids
Working on computers
Building things
Talking with people
Cleaning up my room

Getting a good idea of what you like and what you’re good at will give you a HUGE start in exploring the types of careers that are right for you. Not everyone likes math and that’s okay. But if you find you don’t like working with numbers, you probably don’t want to be an accountant, that’s a person whose job it is to work with numbers all day long. If you don’t like writing, you probably can rule out a job as a copywriter whose job is to write.

Once you get an idea of you like and what you’re good at, use the links under WEBSITES to begin exploring what careers might be a good match.




Be Happy – number one criteria picking a career

HappinessI was planning on providing a list of criteria to consider in selecting a career…and I will at a later date. But number one on the list is so important I decided to make it a separate post. What’s number one…Be Happy! It’s the most important reason when picking any career, here’s why.

You’ll be spending 8, 10, and yes at times, even more hours at work. Next to sleeping, working occupies the second largest number of your daily hours. For some, their working hours surpass sleeping. So wouldn’t you rather be happy at your job?

I’ve heard concerns over if I do what makes me happy I won’t make any money at it. Wrong!

If you’re happy with what you’re doing, guess what, it doesn’t feel like work. You’ll find yourself wanting to spend every waking hour doing it. Eventually you’ll become so proficient, you’ll be the expert and in demand. As a result, the money will follow. Really!

Over the years, I’ve met a lot of people who possess the “one day I” attitude. One day I’m going to follow my dream and become a… Sad to say, most never accomplish their dream. Why wait!

Work your dream job from the start and I will guarantee you will live happier, healthier, and wealthier.


It’s never too early to talk careers with kids

future pic

Because there are at least a bazillion options and one day they’re going to have to choose one.  What I’m hoping to do with this blog is explore different ways of helping your child figure out the answer to the dreaded question, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’  I’ll be posting links to helpful sites, uncover some of the camps and programs available to showcase different career fields, post discussions with professionals in the their field, and provide informative posts based on my twenty years as a recruiter. I’m hoping this becomes a dialogue. Kids, parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else who has an interest in this topic, drop in and ask me a question or suggest a discussion item. I look forward to talking with you.