The MCS Middle School's second cycle (6-week period) of the year focused on “Changes,” in literature, in the natural and physical world around us (fungi, protists, and matter), and how we can be catalysts for positive change in society. The immersion week offers students an opportunity to apply and integrate what they have learned throughout the previous five weeks. For Cycle 2 the immersion was a Career Investigations week. Leading up to the immersion, students utilized expository writing methods to research possible careers. During the immersion week, they investigated different professions through interviews, field trips and job shadowing.
The first professional to visit was a local paramedic and firefighter. He brought his fire gear along, which weighed about 30 pounds, not including an oxygen tank. Nearly everyone in the class took the opportunity to try it on. He also brought his medical supplies and allowed the students to experience the powerful smell of ammonia tablets that paramedics use to rouse unconscious people. He told the class the process for becoming a firefighter, which involves a written test and then a physical one. The physical test includes being able to hold 100 pounds and run a large number of stairs. Firefighters typically work 48-hour shifts (they're able to sleep if there isn't an emergency) and then they have four days off. Robert explained that the pay for a firefighter is about $42,000, and a fire captain makes about $82,000. A paramedic can make about $60,000. The pay goes up for all of these jobs the more relevant degrees one has.