Before I took a few days off this week to go duck hunting, I spent my Tuesday at Dewitt High School. I was in Dewitt for the Clinton County Career day. This day was set up as a career exploration day for 8th graders from all over Clinton County. There were more than 800 students who would interact with nearly 70 booths set up with career information on a variety of different fields. Groups of students rotated between communication/arts careers, health and human services, and the MUCC booth was in the agriculture and natural resources section.
Each booth provided a short hands-on opportunity to introduce the students to different careers and ask questions about each one. I talked to students about my role as a non-formal educator and how I am lucky enough to travel the state teaching kids and adults about Michigan’s natural resources. I also talked to students about what it takes to be a camp director, and how I ended up being in charge of TRACKS magazine.
There were some pretty interesting booths at this event. My row neighbors were Dr. Jessi Shire a veterinarian from Mid-Michigan Equine and Agroliquid. Agroliquid was teaching students about soil chemistry and how healthy soil creates healthy crops. The kids were painting pictures with paint made from carrots, beets, and spinach. Dr. Shire was showing off some of the tools of the trade including her equine dentistry set and her elastration tool.
Other booths included fire departments, nurse practitioners, police, heavy equipment operators, engineering firms and two local conservation districts. There were plenty of opportunities to highlight both technical careers in the skilled trades as well as jobs that needed degrees to earn.
The students were engaged and curious. There were students from all over the county. Bath, St. Johns, Ovid-Elsie, Pewamo- Westphalia, Fowler and of course Dewitt were all represented. It was great to see so many organizations contributing to help highlight their opportunities and hopefully inspire some of the students to follow a career path. Hopefully, we piqued the interest of a few students to become involved in the world of conservation.