Junior Achievement and Technical Education

Building and programming robots with industry reps was hands-on fun.

Building and programming robots with industry reps was hands-on fun.

Wow, the late spring is sure a busy time of year!  So many events and celebrations that are all wonderful, but they seem to happen all at once.  This week we hosted a new, first-time event for the Junior Achievement organization on our campus—a “Technical Careers Challenge” for about 50 eighth grade students from the Appleton Area School District.  It was a pleasure to welcome this group of kids and to attend the celebration dinner that evening with them and members of their family.

Individualized learning in interior design was all about attention to detail.

Individualized learning in interior design was all about attention to detail.

The competition involved teams of students working with area employer volunteers and FVTC faculty in technical fields such as horticulture, welding, interior design, automated manufacturing and web design.  The challenges, while designed to introduce these young people to these potential careers, also focused on innovation, communication, problem-solving, and creative thinking.  I could tell that the event was a great experience for these kids due to their enthusiasm toward the projects.  It’s so important for young people, at this pivotal age, to explore the wide range of career opportunities available to them and to understand what those opportunities are right here in northeast Wisconsin.

Students sparked their creativity in the welding lab.

Students sparked their creativity in the welding lab.

The awards dinner was sponsored by Festival Foods and WBAY anchor, Bill Jartz, served as the evening’s emcee.  It was terrific to see so many parents, guardians and other family members at the awards dinner, and it was clear that the excitement of the day that was experienced by the kids was being shared with them.

It takes the hard work and dedication of many organizational partners to make an event such as this a success.  Hats off to Junior Achievement, the Appleton Area School District, the numerous employer sponsors and volunteers, as well as our own FVTC faculty and staff, for piloting what was, in my opinion, a tremendous event and outstanding career exploration opportunity for these kids!

View Video>>>WBAY

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