On Thursday, May 12, 2016 Kiona Benton City High School GEAR UP took 4 sophomores and 2 juniors to Perry Technical Institute. This trip came forth due to the realization that there are students interested in career opportunities offered by Perry Technical Institute. During this campus visit, GEAR UP decided to use the district van due to it being more cost efficient and allowing a more career-focused visit for a small group of students.
The KiBe group arrived at Perry Tech at around 9am and were greeted by Kayla, the tour guide. Upon arrival Kayla asked each of the students what programs they were interested in so that she could take the students to each of the departments. The students mentioned they were interested in the Electrical Technology, Welding Technology, Construction, Instrumentation Technology, Automotive Technology and Agricultural Equipment Technician programs. Kayla provided each of them with pamphlets of their program of interest. Before heading out to visit the location of the programs, everyone was given safety goggles.
First, Kayla took the group to visit the Electrical Technology program, which is a 2-year program. The instructor of the Electrical program took over the tour and explained what to expect from the program. The instructor took the group into a classroom where a couple of students in the Electrical program were taking an exam. While in the classroom, the instructor explained how the students will get more hands on work as they move further in the program. The instructor talked about the methods used to help the students learn and how important it is to be able to work as a team. After showing us the classroom the instructor took the group over to the lab area. While at the lab area the group experienced what hands-on learning experience looks like.
After attending the Electrical program, Kayla took the group to the Welding department. The students were allowed to look around at the work area and speak to the instructor. The instructor informed the group that the Welding program is a 1-year program. Towards the end of the program the students are required to go out and practice their welding skills at their desired location. The instructor also pointed out that there is a high demand for female welders at the moment.
The group moved on to the Automotive Technology department which is also a 1-year program. While we were there we had the opportunity to take a look around their shop. Kayla explained that the students in this program spend about 2 hours in the classroom and the rest outside working in the shop. This program is set up so the students only work on cars made in the year 2000 and after. The students in this program also have the privilege of getting a 50% discount on Snap-on tools. This allows the students to have their own tools once they are done with the program. Kayla also explained how the students have to wear an all-black uniform while in class because that is the type of attire the students would wear during their career.
The group made a quick stop next to a tractor to briefly discuss the Agricultural Equipment Technician program. This program is new and will have their first students this fall. Kayla explained that the reason for having this program is because they had employers asking for workers who knew how to operate the new tractors and machinery being used in the agricultural field.
Next, the group headed to Perry Tech’s newest building which houses the Instrumentation & Industrial Automation Technology program and were given a quick tour of the building. During the tour Kayla showed us the station where students swipe their card to clock in and out of their class just like a job, and each department has one. If the student does not clock in the instructor will call and check in on why the student did not show up. Students who complete this program learn the entry level skills to control the automated process used to manufacture products. This is a 2-year program that requires students to learn applied mathematics, calculus and physics. The students learn the math, then have the opportunity to apply it during their labs.
Kayla escorted the group back to the main office and provided the students with more information about each program. The students enjoyed the visit and had a better idea of the environment Perry Tech provides. The juniors who attended the trip received the information they were looking for as well as completing the campus tour that is required in order to apply for Perry Tech.
The trip concluded with lunch at Panda Express before heading back to KiBe High School. Using the district van for a career-focused trip proved to be very beneficial to the students. The GEAR UP staff at KiBe plan on using the District van and having bi-monthly campus visits in the coming school year.