Kollege kids

The 8th grade class took a field trip to experience different trades that students can pursue.

It is never too early to begin the college search. At least, that is what adults say. Most middle schoolers have little to no interest in colleges, but, for the eighth graders, that is all about to change.

On Friday May 3rd, the eighth grade students of Cannon Falls hopped into buses and drove to Red Wing Technical College for a tour of the campus and a chance to try their hand at some of the various trades taught at the college. Among these different skill-sets were bicycle fabrication, welding, nursing, agriculture, history and cosmetology. Each activity gave students a different perspective on skills that need to be obtained for a variety of professions that the students themselves might be interested in learning when looking toward the future.

The students who are open and willing to learn can get a good taste of their future options”

— Mrs. Davisson

Eighth grade students have been going on this field trip for 3 years and the program was created to help Cannon Falls students meet some of their graduation requirements. Mrs. Hoffman stated that “Touring a college program helps students to see beyond high school and creates some motivation for the high school years.” Mrs. Davisson noted that, “The students who are open and willing to learn can get a good taste of their future options.” Many of the students did learn a thing or two about their future and what they may want to do in it. Elias Wojahn, one of the eighth graders who went on the trip, found out that he enjoyed some of the more hands on classes. “My favorite part was the welding, bicycle fabrication, and plasma stuff.”

Bicycle fabrication allowed students to learn about a variety of machines used by those at the college. These machines included a laser cutter and 3D printer to make prototypes as well as various computer controlled machine to fabricate real parts. At this activity students were also given the chance to use a plasma cutter on a piece of metal. In addition, they were given the opportunity to weld together pieces of metal.

Despite some students’ love of bicycle fabrication, Teagan Strecker was most interested in the history section of the trip. “Usually history isn’t my thing but, the professor talking to us about history was really interesting to listen to and by the time our visit was done I had learned some stuff about subjects I never would have thought to look into,” she declared. The professor teaching history had various mineral samples found in Minnesota, along with an old photo album with pictures from World War II, various old pictures, newspaper clippings, and countless stories about different people and artifacts found in Minnesota.

Throughout the day, students were also given the opportunity to perform Chinese herbal massages on each other in the cosmetology unit, but the fun didn’t end there. In the agriculture/sustainable farming unit students learned about dirt quality and picked through petri dishes of soil. Nursing was the final unit in which students were given information about nursing classes, candy, and the ability to “word smush”, a process in which students combined root words, prefixes and suffixes to make different medical terms.

Overall, the opportunity for students to tour the college was not only a great time, but it also gave them the inspiration to look into their future. Elias Wojahn commented that “Going to the college really made me think about taking postsecondary education in high school.” Elias wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the trip. Even having been to the college and taking the tour before, Mrs. Davvison vocalized her thought that “Every year there is some new element- there is good interactivity and variety.” At the end of the day, though tired, everyone who went on the trip had learned something new, whether it be how to “word smush” or a possible future job.