Popular event helps pupils aspire to possible careers and educational opportunities

By Stuart Hedstrom
Staff Writer

    BROWNVILLE — Students at the Brownville Elementary School and the Marion C. Cook School in LaGrange, who joined their SAD 41 peers, had the opportunity to think about what may lie beyond high school during Career Aspirations Day on March 12.

Photos courtesy of Brownville Elementary
    WORKING FOR BANGOR HYDRO — Tucker Adams gets a ride in the bucket while Donnie Williams tries on a hard hat during Career Aspirations Day on March 12 at the Brownville Elementary School. Lineman Joe Morrill of Bangor Hydro, right, talks to a group of students before heading outside. The day provided Brownville Elementary and Marion C. Cook School students with the opportunity to think about potential careers and education after high school.

    School Guidance Counselor BJ Bowden said the students heard from several presenters, both in person and across the country via Skype, about what they do in their careers and how they got there. “We had Bangor Hydro here with their truck, which was a big hit, we had the Brownville Police Department, several photographers, an international student from the University of Maine,” Bowden said, adding the college student shared their experiences traveling in Iran with young pupils.
    She said the Skype presentations allowed for visual communication between Brownville and Florida and New York, where students heard from an inventor who designed a series of drinking cups with the smaller models stacking inside the largest.
    “Part of the day was giving them a chance to see the careers they are thinking about,’ Bowden said.
    “We ended the day in the afternoon with the College Knowledge Bowl teams competing against Trade Winds employees,” she said, as the adults studied information pertaining to higher education to see if they could best the squads from the two elementary schools who have taken part and performed in the state-level competitions.
    “It was a chance for the whole school to see it, and a chance for the community to see it,” Bowden said as the teams and Trade Winds employees competed before an audience of Brownville Elementary students and all could see the program of the Maine College Circle. The goal of the College Knowledge Bowl is to help students develop their knowledge of the opportunities of higher education and create some community conversations around it.
    Bowden said again this year students in grades 3-6 are in the midst of writing essays for a college scholarship program to further increase their awareness and higher education aspirations.
    During a meeting of the SAD 41 school board on March 13, Principal Lynn Weston gave an update on the Career Aspirations Day. “We had a couple of guests and we did some Skyping elsewhere in the country,” Weston said.
    She said the College Knowledge Bowl helped increase awareness of secondary education. “By college I mean furthering your education,” Weston said, which includes four- and two-year colleges, technical and trade schools and more.
    “In fourth and fifth grade they are probably not planning their college careers yet, but we are just planting a seed for education beyond Penquis Valley,” she said. “It was a great day.”

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