County middle school students on Friday, Feb. 3, had a chance to explore the many ways their own interests and talents could one day help provide them with a rewarding career.
A career fair held at Cedaredge Middle School brought some 60 local businesses and organizations together with 350 to 400 area middle schoolers for an exciting and entertaining exploration in learning. The event included eighth graders from the four district 50J middle schools, and the sixth and seventh graders from CMS.
According to CMS counselor Kalie Midcap, planning for the big event began last fall with phone calls to area businesses asking for their interest and participation. Midcap said she has helped stage similar events previously though this was the first for Delta County.
Response from area businesses was very good and resulted in a school gym full of displays and exhibits. Each one was staffed by professionals in their fields who answered every question that curious and excited young students could ask about a big world and their future career roles.
The school has hosted classroom presentations on career topics by community members in the past, Midcap said. But this is the first for a major career fair event at the school. It was organized with the help of other district school counselors, school staff and classroom teachers.
Career areas were arranged around groups of work types that Midcap calls "career clusters." The 60 exhibitors were grouped in clusters such as arts and audio visual technonogy and communications; agriculture and natural resources; science, technology, engineering and math; health science; education; government; manufacturing; business management; law; and others.
A demonstration of how the actual internal organs (lungs) of a pig work was one popular display.
The fair drew on professions from the region.One presenter, Aaron Silverman, works as a code slinger for a company in Reston, Va. He lives in Ouray and explained that he is the brother-in-law of a CMS classroom teacher.
Silverman conducted mini seminars throughout the event to groups of intently interested young listeners. He brought his knowledge right into the eighth graders' own world showing them ways they could access super computing power via the cloud for modeling their own projects right from their own home computer devices.