Full Service Westside
Kids love imagining what they will do when they grow up, but many know little about jobs other than what their parents do. To expose students to everything they can pursue, McKinley Elementary School (McKinley) hosted their second annual fourth and fifth grade career fair on May 10th.
Theresa White, counselor at McKinley, organized this year’s event. Each May, White leads students through a unit on careers as part of her counseling curriculum. As a culminating experience for fourth and fifth grade students, she created the career fair, “to open their eyes to many opportunities and to motivate them to get good grades.”
This year’s career fair offered a cross section of the kinds of work people throughout Muscatine do. For students interested in getting into healthcare, two nurses from UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine visited. They discussed what they do day in and day out, and also let students play with the tools of their trade—gloves, face masks, stethoscopes, and blood pressure cuffs.
Additionally, a representative from the UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine lab came out as well to show students some of the behind the scenes work that happens in hospitals. Gabby Noble, a fifth-grade student, found this less well-known part of healthcare fascinating. In particular she felt intrigued that, “in the lab, they have to use these tablets . . . to see what sort of sickness you have.”
To give the kids a glimpse into the life of an engineer, representatives from both Allsteel and Stanley Consultants sent representatives. The Stanley Consultants members brought blueprints of local buildings for students to examine and discussed the training it takes to become an architect. Fifth-grader Aaron Knopik found these requirements eye-opening, sharing his amazement that architects, “have to go to college for five years . . . and [then] have to study under someone else for a long time after that.”
For students who enjoy spending time in nature, a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officer came to discuss his profession. As an added bonus, one lucky student even got the chance to try on some of his gear and literally “step into the shoes,” of a DNR ranger.
To round out the careers on display, a member of the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit gave a demonstration of how he works with a trained police dog. By showing students how he uses a variety of voice and sign language commands to have his dog come, bark to get attention, and pull criminals down, he helped students envision what he does and how it keeps Muscatine County safe.
This year’s career fair went above and beyond when it came to introducing students to careers and giving them positive thoughts about them. Student Ikabod Byrn summed it up best. “I learned that you can work for companies that do multiple things . . . and that there are some parts in every job that are fun.” Through their experience, McKinley students have more knowledge of careers and can start taking steps to realizing their dreams.
Full Service Westside