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Students get an early look into careers

Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2011

What different things do people design in an architecture firm? What does a pediatrician or a veterinarian do in a given day?

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MICHAEL PENN / Michael Penn
MICHAEL PENN / Michael Penn

Floyd Dryden Middle School students explored several kinds of careers this week, and some will next week, as part of a career exploration lesson.

Adriana Rodriguez’s eighth-grade Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, students have spent a week and a half researching a career — learning the training needed, personality fits and what classes to watch out for in high school.

Rodriguez has matched up students with community mentors and students have been exploring careers they may be interested in.

Some of those interests include seeing how things are done at The Veterinary Hospital, Nizich Family Dentist, Glacier Pediatrics, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Juneau Empire, Jensen Yorba Lott, Simpco Welding and many others.

“They’re getting a feel for what the job entails on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “The community’s been really good about being willing to take on kids.”

The 19 students spend a half-day shadowing professionals in those fields.

Student Curtis Stickler was interested in architecture, so Jensen Yorba Lott staff showed him all the different elements that go into planning and designing a building.

Charlene Steinman, a design engineer, showed him how to work several programs and talked about the interior design portion of projects. She showed him the thick manuals of detailed instructions that tell how the architecture, structural, mechanical, electrical and any hazardous material removal plans are put together.

Stickler used programs like AutoCAD and Revit to lay out 2-D and 3-D building plans.

He chose to learn more about how architectural design works because he helps his dad in housing construction and is interested in drawing.

“I just found it interesting,” he said.

What he found most surprising was learning about three-dimensional design.

“I learned how to kind of use it,” he said. “You can put a lot of detail into it.”

Others in the office showed CAD drafting and how the design of the Dimond Park Aquatic Center was done.

“We were looking at how we do colorboards and presentation drawings and methods we use to communicate ideas to the owner,” Steinman said.

The job shadows aren’t the end of the student projects. Next, they will be creating posters for their own Floyd Dryden career fair and will share what they’ve learned about these careers.

“It’s important to make those connections with community members,” Rodriguez said. “Getting them thinking about how to make that first impression. That’s been really good getting them starting to think about those interactions with community members. ... (The students) have put a lot of work and time into this.”

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@juneauempire.com.



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