Throughout May, Questar III’s Heavy Equipment Operation and Maintenance program went on tour to show off the equipment and expand student interest in the program, which will begin at Rensselaer Educational Center in September 2019. The program launched at the former Durham Elementary School in 2018.
On May 3, students and CTE staff visited Averill Park CSD and on May 17, the convoy made stops at Coxsackie-Athens CSD and Taconic Hills CSD. Current students did several demonstrations with the equipment, including a skid steer, loader, and an excavator, while potential future students were able to see the equipment up close and climb into the driver seat and check it out for themselves.
CTE staff also gave a brief presentation about the program, the certifications students can earn, and the wide range of career choices available in the field. The trips served to introduce students early to CTE and hopefully get them thinking now about what they can do at their home schools to be ready to spend half their day with Questar III in 11th and 12th grade.
“We want to get them excited about what CTE is and specifically the Heavy Equipment program. Since this is a new program not everyone knows about it, so we thought let’s bring the equipment to them so they can see first-hand the type of equipment they’d be working with so they can consider this a real option for them,” said CTE Coordinator Kim Sparkman.
Questar III and Coxsackie-Athens CSD Board Member Joseph “Seph” Garland said events like this help potential students see what CTE programs really are.
“It’s important to demonstrate the value of these programs, and by bringing hands-on demonstrations to students to help them really understand what it is, it makes a huge difference. We can also show kids it’s not just a job right out of school, sometimes it triggers them to follow up with a college degree that maybe they wouldn’t have before.”