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I use this as three separate activities for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades during our school's college and career week; however, it could also be used as a single unit for a middle school class. The overall purpose is to develop internet research skills while investigating possible avenues students may take in the future.
The three activities include:
1) College Majors Research Project: This activity asks students to visit the website nomajordrama.com to use the interest inventory to find a career they may be interested in and then break down the interest into skills they will need to have and possible classes they should take in high school and college. (As an added activity, you can have students present these at the conclusion of the research.)
2) Extracurricular Options in College: This activity asks students to pick a college and then survey the many clubs and sports on that campus. I encourage students to find the wackiest ones, and we vote on them as a class. Some popular ones have been "Nap Club" and "Adopt-a-Grandparent." I typically let students work in partners for this mini-project.
3) Mock College Fair: This activity asks students to create a brochure for a college of their choice that includes the information listed for each panel. Students are given the options of using the college's website itself as well as bigfuture.collegeboard.org, which has most of the information required after searching for their college of choice. (I have also asked students to set-up a table to share their information at the conclusion of the project, but I have not included directions for that here.)