NAF, a national network of high school career academies, has launched a free work-based learning platform called KnoPro. This interactive platform allows high school students to tackle real-world problems faced by business leaders, receive feedback from industry mentors, and develop their professional skills and resumes. Students also have the chance to win cash and other prizes. The design and playtesting of KnoPro were done in collaboration with NAF’s Student Advisory Council, ensuring that student and teacher voices were at the center of its development. KnoPro includes monthly challenges where students can participate individually or in teams to solve industry or community problems. There are also daily SkillBuilders, which are short activities designed to enhance critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills. NAF works with industry partners to identify real problems and create engaging content for KnoPro. Business partners can become mentors or competition judges. KnoPro helps students build technical and future-ready skills that are sought after by employers. KnoPro is the latest example of work-based learning, a trend that emphasizes real-world experiences for students. Other initiatives, such as Real World Learning, Purdue Polytechnic High School, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s EPIC initiative, and The Knowledge Society, also provide similar opportunities for students to engage in problem-solving and career exploration.
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