About 150 fifth-grade students from Trinity Elementary School in the New Rochelle School District had the chance to experience a variety of career and technical education programs at the annual STEAM Day event held at the Center for Career Services Dec. 6.
The initiative was organized by Jason Poniatowski, who runs the Computer Information Systems & Medical Administrative Assistant Program, along with BOCES counselor Lori Aufiero and Mr. Poniatowski’s student, Nahsma Mayora.
The half-day event is intended to expose students to programs that fall into the area known as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math).
Before dispersing them to various classrooms around campus, BOCES Supervisor Audrey Mangan explained the importance of having a marketable skill in today’s job market.
“This is the campus where you can make the future happen for you,” said Ms. Mangan, referring to the opportunities that current high school students are given to pursue programs they have a passion for and that can lead to careers that are “fun and fascinating,” she added.
“You are going to see kids not much older than yourselves who are doing some fantastic things,” she said, referring to the programs that students visited, including architecture/interior design; auto technician; baking; construction/electrical; commercial art; computer information systems; cosmetology; culinary arts; emergency medical services; fashion, law, security and policing; nursing; pre-engineering as well as TV/video production.
In Lisa Rudner’s baking class, the enthusiastic visitors got to make sweet and salty popcorn and decorate chocolate-covered pretzels. Others visiting the Culinary Arts Program kitchen had the chance to make and decorate gingerbread cookies.
In Scott Nelson’s Auto Technician class, students got to use car jacks that auto mechanics use to raise cars up off the ground for maintenance and balancing tires, while others were thrilled to use an impact wrench.
Pre-engineering teacher Leticia Noce divided students into groups of three, with some of them constructing bridges, others working on a Rube Goldberg and more of them attempting to build the tallest structure to support a marshmallow.
“The STEAM visit was a complete success,” said Mr. Poniatowski. “The Trinity students were able to explore careers and areas of study through hands-on experiences, and it was also great for our students as they were the local experts for the day and were able to act as role models for the younger kids.”