SALEM TOWNSHIP – “The conversations you have with kids today may be the spark they need to figure out what they want to do with their life,” Principal Tim Richards told presenters at the Mount Abram High School STEM Career Fair this week.
Twenty-one businesses and organizations gathered in the gymnasium at MTA for a career fair on Thursday, March 16. Organized by Jobs for Maine Graduates and the MTA staff and administration, the career fair introduced high school students to a variety of career options, both locally in Franklin County and further afield.
Presenters included Stratton Lumber, Carrabassett Valley Fire Department, ARC Enterprises, IEC, Jobs for Maine Graduates, Central Maine Community College University of Maine at Farmington, Pike Industries, Region 9 Truck Driving, Poland Spring, Beal University, Lucas Tree, Irving Forest Products, Cianbro, Maine Tree Foundation, Maine Warden Service, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, Maine Army National Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Army.
Students were given a bingo sheet with a series of assignments, ranging from ‘introduce yourself and shake hands with an employer’ to ‘ask someone what their typical work day looks like.’ The list of tasks gave students a place to start having conversations with employers and presenters.
A number of presenters had interactive stations, which proved to be popular with a majority of students. Lucas Tree brought ropes and climbing harnesses, and encouraged students to try out a rope tension system. The U.S. Marine Corps set up a pull-up station and allowed students to perform pull-ups.
Others demonstrated examples of their work. The Maine DEP brought in a water filter and testing station and samples of haz-mat gear. Carrabassett Valley Fire, represented by Fire Chief Courtney Knapp and Mount Abram student Frank Provencher, had bunker gear and equipment laid out on a table for students to check out. Beal University, which focuses on nursing education at the Wilton office, had an IV arm and an infant mannequin from their childbirth model.
The career fair, which was open for all grade levels, provided students with an opportunity to meet employers and explore possible options for their future path.
Principal Richards said that they are already discussing options to hold a similar event in the fall, when they could host it outside and allow presenters more room to spread out and set up exhibits and interactive stations.