More and more emphasis is being placed on career-technical education, which provides students with hands-on skills to better prepare them for future careers.
The more that students learn about these CTE programs, the more aware they become of the options out there. That's why Sandpoint High School has made hosting the North Idaho College CTE Roadshow an annual event. Friday, Oct. 12 marked the third year of the event.
"The more exposure they have to it, the more likely they are to understand more each time they see it---what the careers will entail, and especially what the education would entail to gain the career," said Malia Meschko, event organizer and computer-aided design instructor at SHS.
NIC representatives travel to different schools each year to introduce the different CTE programs available at the college. Some of those programs include diesel mechanics, aerospace technology, carpentry and construction, computer-aided design and more. Friday's roadshow was attended throughout the day by students from SHS, as well as Priest River Lamanna High School, Clark Fork High School and Sandpoint Middle School.
For some students, the roadshow can help guide them on a career path. For others who know the area of study they plan to focus on, like SHS junior Angalee Smith, the roadshow also includes information on programs for just about any career. Smith said she plans to go into the medical field as a psychologist or surgeon. In the meantime, Smith was enjoying some of the hands-on activities available at the roadshow.
"I got to paint an imaginary car door, and that was super trippy---it was so cool," Smith said.
Smith was referring to a virtual reality paint simulation, which students got to try out courtesy of the NIC collision repair program.
Mike Huber has been in the collision repair program for three months and said the class does everything from painting to body repair, as well as some mild mechanical work. The students spend about a month learning to paint virtually before being trained on the real thing, he said, which is saving the college money in the long run. The college purchased the virtual reality paint sprayer for $25,000 and is now in its second year of using it. NIC saved more than $6,000 in product last year, Huber said.