#1StudentNWI: The Porter County Career and Technical Center begins school year with various hands-on learning opportunities
The Porter County Career and Technical Center has had a great start to the 2020-21 school year thus far! The health science occupations class volunteered at the Valpo Parks 2020 Popcorn Panic 5K race and helped the runners enjoy a fun and safe race.
Further, the more advanced class, health science occupations II, had a creative way of learning about the different types of therapy. Students brought goats to school to teach pet therapy to their class for a project. This project taught students about pet therapy through a hands-on learning approach.
In the automotive classes, a representative from the Universal Technical Institute held a workshop with the students where they had the opportunity to work on a Shelby Cobra via a STEM demonstration.
The construction class at the Porter County Career and Technical Center started the year off with a hands-on project at the SELF building. The students all worked together to fix different parts of the building, such as walls, lighting, and furniture.
These students have also continued working on thecosmetology building. Several years ago the Porter County Career and Technical Center bought the old Grand Trunk Train Depot, and construction students renovated it to be used for the cosmetology class. Now, the cosmetology students have their shop and classrooms in the old train depot.
The first-year cosmetology students are working towards getting their licenses and are currently learning how to perform different hairstyles. They have learned how to perm hair, create up-dos, and do different braiding techniques.
Additionally, video and media productions students completed their first live broadcast of the Valparaiso High School football game against La Porte High School on September 4. On Friday, October 2, they broadcasted a 30-minute live newscast that included national, state, and local news.
Computer and animation design (CAD) students and the machining class have started their year off with projects that teach the students how to properly use the equipment in class. The CAD class made different objects using their 3-D printer. First-year students in the machining class are learning about all how to make different parts using various equipment.
Lastly, business students have begun their part-time jobs and only attend in-person classes on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s.
With Halloween right around the corner, students will be allowed to dress up in school-appropriate costumes the day before Halloween. Guidance counselor Kelli Ellis will visit each class for team building exercises and to educate the students about bullying, suicide prevention, and a program called Fishlosphophy. This program teaches students leadership and team-building skills, while alsoallowing them to have a fun break in their day.
Additionally, health occupation students can look forward to receiving their scrubs that they will wear in class every week.
The Porter County Career and Technical Center has many outstanding students that are eager to get firsthand experiences in their future career field. Olivia Moldnehauer is one of those students. Moldenhauer is a second-year student in the health science occupations class.
With this class, Olivia is working towards achieving her Certified Nurses’ Assistant (CNA) license. After high school, she hopes to attend college at Indiana University to study either nursing or biochemistry to eventually become a physician’s assistant.
One of Olivia’s favorite parts of the health science occupations course are the interactive opportunities the class offers, such as learning to check vital signs on her classmates. The most important thing Olivia has learned as a second year is how to take care of patients and make them feel as comfortable as possible.
“I’m looking forward to getting to do clinicals and being able to work on patients at the nursing home.” said Olivia.
Last year she received the Student of the Quarter Award. She also participates in community service events offered by the Porter County Career and Technical Center. For example, she volunteered two years in a row at the annual Popcorn Panic Race in downtown Valparaiso with her health science classmates. She has also volunteered with theAmerican Red Cross, helping the nurses with the blood donation process.
The teachers at the Porter County Career and Technical Center teach the material students to need to learn in a fun, unique way. One such teacher is Suzanne Phelps. Phelps teaches the health science occupations II class. She has worked at the career center for 10 years.
In addition to her role as a teacher, she is also a board member for the Porter County Health Department. Before working at the career center,Phelps worked as a nurse for over 20 years.
Now, she is works to help her students achieve their CNA license by the end of the school year, and prepare them for jobs in the health industry.
Phelps teaches a unique course with an experience-based approach. In her class, students learn first aid techniques like how to stop non-fatal bleeding. In the second semester, students are sent to their clinical locations where they learn how to take care of patients in a real-world environment.
Her favorite part of the class is that, “even if students decide not to go into the healthcare field, they will still learn skills in the class that they can use forever.”