When McKenna Adams chose woodworking and woodworking at the Great Plains Technology Center’s summer camp, Career Connection, it was to continue helping his father.
“I chose carpentry because I really enjoy building things with my dad, so I thought it was a good chance to hold more tools,” said Adam.
Craig Hudson is also participating in Career Connections through family influence. Hudson wanted to take cooking classes in honor of his father and carpentry for his grandfather.
“I’m taking the main grilling course to help my dad with the grill and carpentry to work with my grandfather because he builds things,” he said.
Beginning last week, the Great Plains Technology Center has been hosting a two-week, four-session summer camp, called Career Connections, for those entering grades sixth, seventh, and eighth. In these teachings, students will immerse themselves in first-hand learning of different topics; culinary arts, engineering explorations and instant circuits, photography and teacher preparation.
“We want kids to know what the different types of programs we offer and all these different things are. Plus, we want you to see how big our campus is,” said Jenna Alston, activities coordinator for the Great Plains Technology Center.
It is an opportunity for high school students to explore the hands-on education offered at Great Plains. The sessions stand out for students for their ability to feel and touch the material used. Campers have a better idea of how these different concepts work and what it takes to prepare before building projects.
“What makes our learning so unique is practical learning. Students benefit much more from these practical classes”, says Teresa Abram, Marketing and Communication Coordinator.
Parker Stubblefield joined the Culinary Arts-Grill Master 101 class to continue his love of cooking and grilling. Upon entering the camp, he said he only knew how to grill steak. In class, Stubblefield learned to cook a multitude of foods with shrimp, chicken wings, pork chops and kebabs. With more food in Stubblefield’s culinary arsenal, Culinary Arts-Grill Master 101 gets two thumbs up.
“It’s an amazing class and I believe everyone should try it,” he said.
Rage Smith entered the field already knowing which field of work he is interested in. For Smith, the initial interest in circuits led him to apply for Engineering Snap Circuits. Even though the engineering department splits into two different classes, Smith wanted to be where his interest was. By choosing engineering pressure circuits, Smith expanded his fascination and even acquired a new profession along the way.
“One thing I learned in class is welding. It was really fun, easy and you really can’t mess up,” he said.
On the other side of engineering courses, students were out of the Engineering Explorations class. While Engineering Snap Circuits is more detailed for an engineering aspect, Engineering Exploration discusses the topic in a broader sense.
For students like Johnathan George-Ellis, it’s the perfect opportunity to see what field of study interests them.
“I don’t really know what I want to study yet, but coming to this class helps me figure that out as we go along,” he said.
For the Great Plains Technology Center faculty, this highlights what the main purpose of the camp is. As students prepare for high school, Career Connections wants to create a sensitivity for campers about what they choose to do.
“The main thing is to make the students aware so that if they decide to come to Great Plains in their second year, they will be familiar with what is being taught,” Abram said.