So many choices

ICC holds a Career Exploration Camp for students to explore future options.
Jul. 17, 2013 @ 05:02 AM

How many people can say they have made sugar cookies with a solar oven? Campers at Isothermal Community College can.

Campers are exploring 25 future career choices at ICC this week during a Career Exploration Camp. The four-day camp is focusing on job pathways in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

"We wanted youth to know the options that are out there. Some of the exhibits they are seeing, they might not have known about before," said Amber Thompson, camp director and dean of applied sciences and technology at ICC. "All of the instructors are ICC staff and we are using equipment that is normally used to train people in college programs."

The 60 campers were divided into two groups- rising third through fifth graders and rising sixth through ninth graders. They are learning about advertising and graphic design, broadcasting and production, building construction, electrical systems, electronics engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, architectural drafting, criminal justice, welding technology, health sciences , computer programming and more.

"Yesterday they wrote CNC programming and on Thursday they are going to use their programming to make a ring in the machining lab," Thompson said. "Yesterday they also filmed a music video. They directed it, wrote it and filmed it and tomorrow they will edit and produce it. They are also going to make catapults and learn about simple machines."

One of the goals of the camp was to give hands-on experience. On Monday campers visited WNCW, the radio station that broadcasts from the college, and got to try their hand at being a disc jockey.

"We learned about radio and how they do music and stuff. They put CDs inside the CD player and it comes on. They have more than 1,000 CDs," said camper Palina Schneider, rising fifth grader at Sunshine Elementary School. "I like science because it has lots of facts and you learn to do projects and experiments."

According to Mike Gavin, director of marketing and community relations at ICC, having the students on campus is also a great way to expose them to what the college can offer them in the future.

"We offer more than 80 different fields of study. We want to get them familiar with those fields at a younger age and hopefully they will make it a goal to pursue some of those things," Gavin said.

The camp ends on Thursday with a "Exploring Your Future" career fair put on by Communities in Schools of Rutherford County and the Timken Corporation. Any third-eighth grade student is invited to attend.

The fair will be held in the gym at ICC from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Students who attend must be accompanied by a parent.