CACC Skill Expo welcomes future students


Army Ants members work hard on their second robot. Photo by John Gillis

Maria Kalaitzandonakes

Tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Columbia Area Career Center hosts an open house open for community members. Visitors will be able to talk with teachers, see the work CACC students have been working on and get a taste of classes they may want to take in the future.
Senior Katelyn Race will be one student demonstrating some laboratory techniques at the skill expo tomorrow night. Race said she signed up for CACC classes, 21st Century Life Sciences and Laboratory Foundations — Pharmaceutical and Environmental, because they prepared her for a future in pharmaceutical engineering. The classes have given her a lot of basic skills which she said gives her a head start to her college career, and she would recommend students deciding what classes to take next year, or prospective RBHS students, attend the CACC Skill Expo to get an idea of the opportunities there.
“The Skill Expo is a wonderful place for people to really get a good look at what’s going on in the Career Center classes they’d be taking,” Race said. “It’s also a good option for people to … figure out what they really want to focus on in high school.”

Army Ants members work hard on their second robot.Photo by John Gillis
Army Ants members work on their second robot. The club uses an area in the Career Center every day after school.
Photo by John Gillis
Race knew what career she wanted to pursue when she entered the class, though. This was not the case for senior Jeffrey King, who is involved in Geospatial Technology at the CACC and was accidentally put in the class. However, while his schedule put him in a class he hadn’t requested, King has found many benefits and gained new, useful information by sticking with the course. An up-and-coming field, geospatial technology involves mapping and Global Positioning Systems (GPS); King said he was lucky to get involved in a class that offers him almost endless job opportunities after he graduates.
“I didn’t go the Skill Expo when I was younger, but I wish I had,” King said. “I didn’t have [Geospatial Technology] on my requests at all, but I ended up liking it a lot. … If I would have gone to the Skill Expo, I would have been even more inclined to sign up for it.”
Along with the students and teachers who will be putting on a show and informing others about the CACC’s opportunities, two robots will be running around the halls as well, courtesy of the FIRST robotics team, Army Ants. Karl Christopher, chief mentor for the group, encourages employers, future students and anyone interested in the programs to attend the event. He said it is something to look forward to.
“We’re having a robot demonstration, kids will be working in the shop, and the shops will be open for tours,” Christopher said.  “They’re going to come in here and see free-thinking, scientific work that the high school students are doing, and they have to get excited about it.”
By Maria Kalaitzandonakes
Have you taken a Career Center class? Which is your favorite?