200 eighth-graders explore career options

Posted 4/4/17

Cleaning up an oil spill, working for National Geographic in the Arctic and treating a dog that’s eaten Gorilla Glue were just a few of the experiences described during two recent Career Day …

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200 eighth-graders explore career options

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Cleaning up an oil spill, working for National Geographic in the Arctic and treating a dog that’s eaten Gorilla Glue were just a few of the experiences described during two recent Career Day sessions sponsored by AAUW Port Townsend.

Two hundred eighth-grade students from Port Townsend, Chimacum, Quilcene and Brinnon public schools learned about a wide range of careers, and what it takes to prepare for them, when 20 presenters from the professional, paraprofessional and business communities described their jobs and answered questions during the sessions. Each session was designed to inform and expand students’ thinking about career options.

Presentations were given on careers in the arts, health care, high tech, natural sciences, public safety, veterinary science, welding, shipbuilding and cosmetology.

Speakers represented various businesses and organizations, including Jefferson County Public Health, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), East Jefferson Fire Rescue, Chimacum Valley Veterinary Hospital and Pet Townsend Animal Clinic, Center Valley Animal Rescue, Jefferson County Public Utilities District, Discovery Physical Therapy, Glamour Girl Salon, Transect Films, Northwest Discovery Lab/NOAA, Foss Maritime Seattle Shipyard, Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op and Washington State Parks/Fort Flagler. Some of the presenters focused on the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Donna Larson, a volunteer AAUW docent, observed how Shaun Bell from Northwest Discovery Lab/NOAA engaged the students by sharing instruments, showing short video clips and answering student questions throughout his presentation.

Three eighth-grade girls who sat in on Danielle Galmukoff’s presentation enjoyed having their hair styled as Galmukoff described how she prepared to own her own salon business.

Chris Brignoli, a marine electrician and systems designer with the Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op, who is also a parent of a Blue Heron Middle School student, enjoyed sharing his career with the students. “All the students were enthusiastic, polite and participating – a very positive experience,” he said.

AAUW Port Townsend and its affiliate, the University Women’s Foundation of Jefferson County, have hosted Career Days since 1995.

“Career Days give students the opportunity to explore many career options and to interact with professionals in their field. This is an appropriate time for students to think about future career goals,” said Patti Ivers, AAUW Career Day cochair.

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