CTE photo

LUMBERTON — PSRC sixth graders dreamed big as they interacted with several PSRC Career and Technical Education program booths at the inaugural PSRC CTE Showcase for sixth graders on Wednesday and Thursday at the Southeastern Agricultural Events Center.


“I want to be an aeronautics designer with NASA,” said Fairmont Middle student Sayen Oxendine.


Oxendine and other sixth graders including FMS student Brianna Hall waited eagerly for their turn as they watched other sixth graders use trowels to coat bricks in mortar at the Masonry booth.


Prospect Elementary student Savannah Locklear could be seen with her friends Paisley Locklear and Joleih Locklear at the event.


“I want to be a biologist,” she said. “I’ve always been like interested in science.”


Fairmont High School 11th grade CTE student Drianna Holt could be seen displaying a hologram of the human body for sixth graders to see.


The hologram through zSpace technology presented an engaging 3D experience that brought elements like the human heart close to viewers as they studied its makeup and structure.


Holt plans to be a nurse practitioner and she is currently taking Health Science II at her school. The Healthcare Career Pathway through PSRC Career and Technical Education offers students the opportunity to earn credentials and graduate with certifications that can set them on their way to a healthcare career. Students can take CTE courses offered at their high schools or the Robeson County Career Center. Each PSRC high school showcased one CTE program offered at the school.


The event is held annually for 8th graders, but the event was the first time that a CTE showcase for 6th graders has been held, said PSRC CTE Director Herman Locklear. The event also marked the first time that high schools presented CTE programs during a showcase event.


The state mandates that every 7th grader must have a career development plan, Locklear said.


“By targeting the younger age, it gives students more time to think before they complete their career plan,” he said.


Reaching students earlier makes all the difference, according to Robbie Perdue, Networking educator at PSRC’s Robeson County Career Center.


“What I’ve seen over the last 20 years is that the earlier we get these students, the greater the impact we can have on them,” he said.


Perdue said in order for students to take advantage of the offerings at the Career Center, “we need to get them early.”


Perdue’s message to students is simple.


“Don’t wait until you’re a 12th grader to start thinking about your career,” he said.


Students enjoyed interactive video gaming at the Networking Program booth, then rotated to another station at the booth to learn more about the Networking Program and IT.


Perdue told students the game only works because its networked. Then, he used the rotation format to teach them more about the Networking Program and what they can learn if they choose to take the course in high school.


“The sooner you introduce them to the programs, the more they become interested in them,” said Michael Lewis, Construction educator at the Robeson County Career Center.


“Just this exposure to the programs is something I think will stick with them for the rest of their lives,” he added.


For more information about the Robeson County Career Center or CTE programs, visit www.robeson.k12.nc.us/o/rccc or call 910-671-6095.