In an effort to help middle school students understand the importance of math and science to their future careers, Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) hosted its first-annual “Math to Careers” Middle School Career Conference, May 9, on its main campus in Lakewood.
More than 600 eighth and ninth graders from the Tacoma and Bethel school districts participated in the event. The intent of the conference was to give students the opportunity to explore different career pathways while simultaneously showing how important math skills are in the workplace.
“We wanted to use this conference as a way to raise awareness of the importance of math and science education,” said Janet Holm, CPTC Marketing and Outreach coordinator. “By giving students a hands-on experience of how math is applied to real life and in different careers, we hope it will better prepare them for their futures.”
The “Math to Careers” Middle School Career Conference is spearheading a growing trend in education: encouraging students to take more math and science education beyond the minimum high-school requirements. State and federal lawmakers are supporting strong initiatives that call for an increase of these subjects beyond tenth grade to better prepare students for their careers.
“As a college we are proud to take the lead in helping young students prepare for different professions,” said Dr. Sharron McGavick, CPTC President. “A comprehensive career conference specifically designed for middle school students, which emphasizes math and science training while giving students the chance to discover different career choices, has not been available before.”
Visiting eighth and ninth graders participated in multiple learning exercises and even had the opportunity to meet and speak personally with instructors, enrolled college students and visiting guests, including firefighters from the Lakewood Fire Department and construction crews from the “If I Had A Hammer” program.
Six different walking tours gave students the opportunity to explore the college campus environment, 15 different program workshops provided in-depth information about various career options, and interactive, hands-on exhibitions by the Lakewood Fire Department and the “If I Had A Hammer” program gave students an inside look at how math is used in the workforce.
Motivational speaker and actor Mr. Shannon Pickard delivered an enthusiastic “Multiply Your Options” presentation. Using a combination of comedy, stage acting and audience participation, Mr. Pickard encouraged students to plan for their futures at an early age and gave practical advice on ways to develop strong leadership skills and making positive life choices.
Dozens of math teachers, educators, counselors and leaders from both the Tacoma and Bethel school districts joined the middle school students for the half-day event.
Prominent visitors included Stacy Daniels, Pierce County Workforce Development Council Representative, Julie Quesada, Educational Advisor, TRIO Talent Search, Michaele Sein-Ryan, High School Transition Coordinator for the Tacoma Public Schools, Laura Urlin Communications Manager for Associated General Contractors of Washington, and Debora Wilson, Bethel School District Career Counselor.
The “Math to Careers” Middle School Conference was developed by the CPTC Marketing and Outreach department in collaboration with leaders from the Pierce County Workforce Development Council and educators from the Tacoma School District.
If you would like information on how your school, organization or business can be involved in next year’s event, please contact Janet Holm, CPTC Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, at (253) 589-5545 or email email@example.com