Friday young students got to explore different career paths and technical education in an exciting and fun way. 300 kindergartners, first and second graders along with 50 preschoolers got the chance to explore all the different career and educational opportunities that could be a part of their future.
Friday was more than just a play day for young students, it was also an educational experience. For the fourth year the Regional Occupation Center was full of preschoolers, kindergartners, first and second graders exploring all the different career and education paths offered at the school.
The 350 students came from Laurelglen, McKinley and Plantation Elementary as well as Bakersfield Adult School Children Center. Ann Pena is a second grade teacher at Plantation Elementary School and was looking forward to bringing her students here for the first time. “This hands-on training kind of puts that spark in their brain that that’s what I want to pursue in the future,” said Pena.
And while the students were getting a hands-on look Pena was also hoping they would start making connections with the high school students who were there to help inspire the younger students. “It’s important because down the line in life we should all be successful and I think that if you start them young now, then when they get older they will pursue a lot of things,” said Miranda Castaneda, a senior at ROC.
The students got to explore 40 informational and interactive classes like fire technology, robotics and vet tech. Stephen Mears teaches robotics and engineering at ROC and feels it’s never too early to get kids thinking about the future. “I don’t think that a student is ever too young to start thinking about the future or thinking about things that they are interested in or thinking about technology,” said Mears.
Pena agreeing that type of thinking and training starts very early on for students. “Career training kind of even starts in kindergarten, you have to start planning ahead, what is it that I want to do, what classes I want to pursue, what is my interest and the younger they start the more options they have,” said Pena.
Teachers at the event said that because children are the future they need to be prepared for what’s next. “We’re talking 20 years from now they are gonna be graduating from college and they’re gonna walk into a whole new world,” said Mears. The high school students that were a part of today’s event say that they hope that the young students one day choose one of the careers that they experienced today.