Friday, March 20, 2015


How do you get energetic middle-schoolers thinking about careers? Take them on a fieldtrip. This week was the Y2Kids event at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh. Organized by Orange-Ulster BOCES, it's similar to a job fair, but for kids along with their teachers and parents. Area employers introduce their field of work to young minds through demonstrations, creative displays, and hands-on activities. A variety of fields were represented including culinary, automotive, medical, product design, and agriculture.

Upon entering, each student receives a card that is to be stamped by employers, and in order to get stamps they must approach tables and ask questions about the field.

One company let students handle a brain. One had a display of sugar amounts in common drinks. Kids had the opportunity to frost cupcakes, sit in an ambulance and a helicopter, prepare vegetables, practice martial arts, and hammer metal panels. I never had an opportunity like this when I was young and I thought it was a great idea. Many kids aren't exposed to careers other than those of their families and teachers, and I found there to be a wide range of employers with youth-centered activities.

Also open for the public to tour was a cargo plane next to the building. When the students' cards were filled with stamps, they entered a drawing for prizes. I'm sure even those who went home empty-handed still had lots to talk about at dinner that night.

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