Poway Unified students showcased their innovative projects and career aspirations at the Career Technical Education EXPO. At the May 18th event, students were able to show off visual displays of their class activities. Five comprehensive high schools and a continuation high school plus two middle schools and an elementary school participated in the EXPO.
The following were a handful of educational exhibits that students presented at the EXPO:
Gardening and culinary arts at Abraxas High:
Students interested in agriculture-related careers are growing bell peppers, zucchini, squash and other seasonal produce at a campus garden. The school-grown produce is shared with the culinary arts program and surplus food is given to homeless shelters and women’s organizations.
Abraxas biology and agriculture teacher Bob Lutticken said the project-based learning helps students develop and explore their interests. Staff find out what students are interested in learning about and tie it to the curriculum, whether it’s gardening, cooking outdoors or creating ceramics and screen printing in the arts department. The culinary class also helped a student get a job at the Mama Cellas restaurant in Rancho Bernardo.
Photography at Westview High School:
A Westview High School senior is enrolled in the AP Studio Art course for the photography Career Technical Education pathway, with a focus on narrative photography, in which she tells a story through photographs. Her focus this year is on mental health issues, trying to bring people’s stories onto a creative medium.
She expresses concepts related to her photos, which generally focus on people, using backdrops and lighting design equipment at her school’s photography studio. These skills will likely help her get a job someday in a media and marketing field that emphasizes social media.
Robotics at Rancho Bernardo High:
Students in the robotics team have spent six weeks building a robot that could pick up and place inflatable cubes and orange plastic cones in a robotics competition. They also participated in the global FIRST Robotics Competition, which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”
The teamwork and engineering skills that students are learning will prepare them for college and possibly to achieve their career goal of becoming an engineer. Participating in the FIRST Lego League also encouraged them to take more STEM classes.
Sports Medicine at Mt. Carmel High:
Students at Mt. Carmel High School are participating in a sports medicine class in the health science and medical technology pathway. They learn about the parts of the body, including muscles, bones and ligaments, and how these parts function and how people can get injured in sports. Their goal is to work in the medical field, possibly as a sports medicine doctor or a physical therapist. Students find that the class is really interesting and it’s really fun.
Biomedical Technology at Del Norte High School:
The biomedical technology pathway includes classes in AP biology, AP statistics, AP computer science and honors medical interventions. Students’ goals are to become a doctor or surgeon. The class teaches students the principles of biomedical sciences and anatomy as well as medical interventions. Students learn about dealing with medical equipment, DNA sequencing, genetics and so much more. Students consider the class to be a challenge, but with the right enthusiasm, any class can be fun.
Through Career Technical Education, older students mentor younger students with lessons and activities. The younger students also engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum through the Project Lead the Way program. Other opportunities include counseling to help students connect their classes to college and career goals, company tours, informational interviews with industry professionals, and connections to internships.