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Trent Bacon, graduate student in automotive technology, gives a demonstration on caterpillar engines to high school students at KTC Friday, Nov. 1. Caterpillar engines were once used as engines for highway trucks and have been out of the industry for while. Lesly Bocanegra

KTC hosts open house

Pittsburg State University hosted its annual Kansas Technology Center open house giving high school students as well as community college students the chance to explore possible career opportunities in technology. More than 700 high school students attended the event on Friday, Nov. 1.  

PSU’s College of Technology faculty and students set up demonstrations and displays to share various technologies with high school students including sophomores, juniors, seniors and potential community college and/or technical college transfers.  

The open house presents the opportunity for students to learn more about new and emerging technologies, as well as learn about STEM-related career opportunities through various interactions.  

“It’s a recruiting event basically so we invited about 700 students, high school students, here and their teachers,” KTC Dean Robert Frisbee said. “They see the facilities so all the faculty have the labs open and doing demos so the students can see the opportunities.” 

Over 12 different technology venues were provided giving out dozens of demonstrations and displays, including hands-on opportunities in several areas of technology.  

Demonstrations ranged from injection molding of ‘frisbees’ demo in Plastics Engineering Technology to a ‘NASA Rover Challenge’ exhibit in the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Department.  

During the high school session, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., demonstrations and displays were shown where students engaged in the demonstrations and hands-on activities. From 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., attendees had the chance to stop by the ‘Information Station’ to discuss and obtain information sheets and/or brochures on a variety of topics including scholarship opportunities for students, careers in STEM, military and ROTC scholarship opportunities, as well as many more booths where students in attendance could obtain information.  

“This is a great way for us to get face to face time with a lot of the juniors and seniors that we actually don’t get a lot of face time with,” a recruiter from the Coast Guard said. “This is a great chance for us to catch them in an environment where they are thinking about college and they’re thinking about the future.” 

Following the high school session, the transfer session started with community college and technical college transfers looking at opportunities at PSU. Session one, dubbed as “what transfers need to know,” addressed questions typically asked by community and/or technical college transfer students. Subsequent to session one, lunch was given to students in attendance provided by the College of Technology.  

Session two, from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., was hosted by PSU faculty and administration where they addressed questions obtained through the registration process as well as field questions from participants within the room.  

Closing the event, session three had community and technical college students and faculty join PSU faculty and students in respective program areas. This provided the opportunity to discuss specific program questions, and any program components of interest such as labs, equipment, software, etc. that had not been seen during the open house.  

“This event is very beneficial,” Frisbee said. “The students see what their opportunities are in the programs. They don’t know until they see it so that’s the big advantage is getting them on campus and seeing the facility and the labs. A lot of them say, ‘wow, I didn’t know this was here and I didn’t know this degree was an option.’ We find in these programs that the real positive recruiting happens when they see it.” 

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