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Instructions for Middle School Students

Instructions for Middle School Students published on

RDECOM Scientist and Engineers bring their special skills and enthusiasm to STEM Night at Fallston Middle School, by U.S. Army RDECOM on Flickr, used under a CC-BY 2.0 licenseYour company is planning a diversity initiative to interest local students in STEM careers (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The program is similar to a “Take a Kid to Work Day” event. Middle and high school students from the area will apply to learn about careers and will spend most of the day working one-on-one with employees like you to learn about what the career involves.

The students you will be working with will get to complete an activity that you would do during a normal work day. Your writing task is to create a instruction sheet that the students can follow to complete a simple task while shadowing you at work. Choose a task that you can explain in about 500 words or less, including any warnings or troubleshooting tips.

Your project should meet the following criteria:

  • ¬†include the following sections:
    • a short introduction/overview.
    • a list of required materials.
    • the at least five different steps to be completed (more than five is fine).
    • troubleshooting tips.
  • outline the steps necessary in full detail.
  • list any safety notes or warnings.
  • is illustrated with photos/screenshots.
  • adjust the words and phrases for a non-technical audience.
  • use clear, uncluttered layout and design.

Project Examples by Students

  • None yet.
  • Yours could be here!

The Project Assignment

Step 1: Decide on the activity you will focus on for your project.
Your focus will be to talk about a simple task that someone in your career field would complete. Try to limit yourself to topics with which you have some expertise (or at least some experience). Since middle and high school students will be following the instructions, choose something that they could believably complete and that will not place them in a dangerous situation.

Step 2: Do some feasibility research.
Make sure that the topic you have chosen will work for the project. Think about the following questions:

  • Do you know how to complete the task OR are you confident you can learn it quickly?
  • Do you have access to the materials needed to complete the task?
  • Do you have or can you take photos to illustrate your instructions?
  • Do you know someone who can test your instructions for you?

Step 3: xxx.Paper plane instructions by Mon Aguilar from the Noun Project, used under a CC-BY 3.0 license.
Write instructions that your reader can follow to complete a task. Your reader is someone who has never completed the task before and who is just learning about the task and your career field. 

Step 4: Check your images, design, and layout.
Your instructions should be clear and uncluttered. The design and layout should make it easy for the students to understand what they need to do.

  • xxx
  • xxx
  • Review the photos you have included to illustrate the steps of your instructions. Be sure that any images you include tie directly to the words on the page. They need to be integrated, not just random illustrations.

Step 5. Review your project for design and basic writing errors.

Everything you write should use accurate/appropriate image editing, grammar, spelling, punctuation, mechanics, linking, and formatting. These are important basic writing skills that you should have developed in high school.

Review your project, considering the layout and design of your project. Refer to the details listed in the Ten Ways to Improve Your Writing and the grammar and design Lynda.com videos included on that page.

Step 5: Submit your project in Canvas.
Upload your completed self-assessment and your project in Canvas.

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