Out of the three sites visited, I felt at home with Caterpillar the most. Company and product pride, compliance with safety, and the use of technology really stand out in my mind. What a powerful statement they made by taking time from their busy schedules to meet with teachers. I felt important and appreciated for the work we are doing. They use technology not only to make their products, but also to run those products. The shift from manual labor to robotics caused a shift from lower educated to highly educated workers. I guess the message we need to bring back to the classroom is, "Hey kids, if you donít produce or perform at an acceptable level, you arenít going to make it." I thought the comment, "a 12th grade education isnít going to make it," was eye opening and scary. Competencies in math, problem solving ability, analyzing, methodology, independent thinking, creativity, seeing the problem Ė not just the solution, eagerness to learn; these are just some of the qualities Caterpillar is looking for in employees. Basic reading and communication skills are necessary also.

The impact this visit had on me will motivate me to plan lessons for my Middle school students that delve deeper into the cognitive levels. I feel that the five-day lesson I have prepared for this class asks students to know, compare, create, compute, analyze, and communicate their understanding. Future lessons have to address student responsibility for learning, ownership of ideas, values, and a strong work ethic. If we donít expect our students to meet higher standards, and hold them accountable, they are not going to survive in the new millennium.