College opens campus to bring in area high school, junior High students and talk about opportunities and careers in science, technology, engineering and math

Taft College is making sure everyone knows about the possibilities for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Students from all over the area have been coming by the TC campus for introductions to the college's offerings

Friday, 160 high school seniors from within the boundaries of West Kern Community College District were exposed to various areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said Rachel Taylor, coordinator for STEM Outreach Activities at Taft College.

A week earlier, a large contingent of students from Lincoln Junior High visited the campus.

Eight students from Maricopa High School, 20 from Buena Vista High and 132 from Taft Union High School participated in Taft College’s STEMvitational 2014, the first of what is planned to be an annual event for high school seniors, Taylor said

“(STEMvitationl) exposed them to the various areas of STEM today,” she said. “It … (gave) them an opportunity to get plugged into the STEM program.

“Thank you to the math and science faculty of Taft College for hosting STEM demonstrations in physical science, life science, engineering and mathematics. The students were so impressed with all of you.

“I heard several of them still talking about their experiences at the end of the day. They loved every second of it. This event could not have happened without your support and participation.

“There are wonderful things to come in these students’ futures, and today we worked to ensure they are aware of their options in STEM at Taft College.”

A week earlier, a large contingent of students from Lincoln Junior High visited the campus.

“This is the first time this event occurred, but we hope to make it an annual event for the students at Lincoln,” Taylor said.

The students rotated through three different centers. They toured the campus with Taft College Admissions, played a game about STEM careers with Taft College Career Services, and saw STEM demonstrations with the Taft College STEM Program.

As these students move from junior high school to high school, it’s important for them to already start considering their education and career goals. Since they will be graduating junior high soon, we felt they were the perfect age group to participate in this event. It’s never too early to start thinking about STEM.

    The event was a collaboration by the Taft College STEM Program with Taft College Admissions and Taft College Career Services. 

Taylor thanked the various people who contributed to the success of the first STEMvitational, which included: TC students who helped lead groups; Carlos Lovera and Elizabeth Saldana for participating in the student panel on STEM; the counselors and advisors who hosted a booth, enabling students to have their questions answered immediately; and to the Taft College Foundation for its support of the event and the STEM program.