High school students can investigate careers, win prizes and scholarships at virtual open house 

  Wednesday, February 17, 2021 10:00 AM
  News, Science and Technology, Academics

Pittsburg, KS

Gorilla in snow

PSU’s Fall 2020 Virtual College of Technology Open House and Career Expo for high schoolers was so successful, organizers are gearing up for the Spring 2021 event with excitement and anticipation. Registration is now open at www.pittstate.edu/ktcopenhouse 

Planned for Feb. 23-March 10, it will offer participants the chance to win prizes and scholarships while investigating careers, and teachers of 10th through 12th graders will have the chance to win the “Outstanding Participation Award” in four enrollment categories. 

Pre-pandemic, the in-person version of the open house and career expo typically attracted several hundred students who got the chance to tour the Kansas Technology Centerwhere they investigated technology degree options and career fields, viewed demonstrations, and even tried out equipment themselves. 

“When we held a virtual version of the event last November, we didn’t know what was going to happen,” said event coordinator John Iley. “We wound up with 30 schools in six states and about 600 registrants, and the event turned out to be a real success. 

Faculty in the COT prepared activities and lesson plans in a choice of 14 programs, recorded virtual demonstrations, arranged for an “Information Station” showcasing careers, and held an interactive Zoom session — all of which could be completed across a two-and-a-half-week span in high school classrooms or by remote learners at home.  

For Spring 2021, the interactive Zoom session will be replaced with a new wrap-up activity to recognize outstanding performances, award door prizes, and introduce students to next steps in pursuing careers in technology. 

In some ways, a virtual event has advantagesit allows participants to really dive in with greater focus, it can be very individualizedand schools anywhere in the U.S. can attend,” Iley said. 

College of Technology Dean Bob Frisbee said it will become a permanent part of the open house and career expo.  

“In the future, we hope to again hosthe face-to-face open house, but we will continue to provide the virtual version for those that can’t physically attend — it will be a hybrid event, he said. 

Outstanding Participation Award 

Two high schools and their respective teachers were recognized for their level of participation in the fall: St. Mary’s-Colgan teacher Brian O’Neill and Har-Ber High School teacher Greg Simpson. 

Iley is hoping for similarly high level of participation from schools across the Gorilla Advantage area and throughout the country with the spring eventStudents who make a good faith, quality effort to complete and return feedback sheets will be eligible for scholarships as well as overall and program area prizes; the feedback forms serve as “tickets” for the drawings. 

On March 12, the COT will post a video announcing the winners of prizes and scholarships. 

To register, visit www.pittstate.edu/ktcopenhouse