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College of Technology hosts workshop for inner-city kids

July 18, 2011 12:00AM

Paul Herring, associate professor of engineering technology, describes the operation of plastics manufacturing equipment to Kauffman Scholars Friday.

Last week, 34 8th graders from Kansas City's urban core learned about robots, plastics, recycling and construction in Pittsburg State University's Kansas Technology Center. The students, all participants in the Kauffman Foundation Scholars program, were learning not just about technology, but about college life and the opportunities that higher education offers.

The primary goal of the Kauffman Scholars program is to motivate students to complete high school and go on to college.

Pittsburg State has hosted technology workshops for Kauffman Scholars for several years. Jim Otter, chairman of the Department of Construction Management and Construction Engineering Technologies, said the PSU faculty who teach the youngsters benefit from the experience.

"These students bring a different perspective and a different life experience into the classroom," Otter said.

Kauffman Scholar Courtney Jones said she has enjoyed the three-day camp at PSU.

"I like it because we learn a lot of things we never think about," Jones said, "like the plastic bottles we drink out of and how they're made and recycled."

Courtney said she is already thinking about college and the wide array of career options open to her.

"Right now, there's three things," Courtney said. "I think I would like to be either an elementary school teacher or a vet or a doctor or nurse."

©2011 Pittsburg State University