For 211 middle school students who attended Tech Knowledge College (TKC), fun and education combined to give them a glimpse into college facilities and potential careers as they made movies, manufactured yo-yos, created Web sites, prepared gourmet food, styled hair, worked on engines and played judge and jury.
Students from throughout Moraine Park Technical College’s district enjoyed hands-on learning as they participated in their two choices from among more than 20 sessions, such as Animation Goes Global, Kidz Care, Rev Your Engines, Spa de Paris, Universal Video Productions and Worldwide Web Masters. Two new sessions gave participants a look at layout and design through a popular hobby and at the Spanish culture and language, while a third taught bicycle maintenance and ended with a group ride.
In Layout and Design Through Scrapbooking, the work tables were a sea of colors, patterns and photos as the students laid out scrapbook pages using basic principles of design and layout.
Tessa Goulais, 12, of Campbellsport was back at TKC for her second year. “I had fun last year and learned a lot,” she said. This time around, she enrolled in the scrapbooking class to learn how to scrapbook like her sister. As the class got under way, Goulais learned how to lay out her pages so the photos pop and become the focal point of each page. Other students, like Sarah Amundson, 12, of Fond du Lac, Hannah Mrochinski, 11, of Campbellsport and McKenzie Freund, 12, of New Holstein, were familiar with scrapbooking and picked up some new techniques, including how to set different borders, avoid overloading the pages and use different colors. Brenna Calder, 13, of Beaver Dam, in her third year of TKC as a summer tradition with her friend Haley Fiegel, learned more about getting creative and balancing pages.
Over in Techniques Salon and Spa, the Spa de Paris session was abuzz with activities. Students like Rebecca Stucke, 11, of West Bend, Courtney Retlich, 13, of Kiel, Kayse Anderson, 13, of Mt. Calvary and Breana Patchett, 12, of Plymouth enjoyed practicing mini-facials, manicures and make-up application. Patchett and her friend Erika Pedersen, 12, of Fond du Lac, who loves cosmetology, had returned to TKC for their second year to have fun together at Spa de Paris and Go, Team, Go.
Interested in different ways of making things run, Ryan Socha, 11, of Green Lake signed up for Rev Your Engines and Electroniks, in which students work with small engines and electronic kits, respectively. “It sounded really, really interesting,” he said. Socha enjoys science and as Electroniks got under way, he began to learn how wires connect and make lights go on, and about the electricity in the human body.
Preparing familiar foods in new ways was the focus of Comfort Foods With Future Concepts, such as using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream much faster than the traditional way. Aaron Wagner, 11, of Oshkosh enjoyed learning to cook for his parents and being able to eat the food that was made each day. Brody Slaughenhoup, 12, of West Bend likes cooking and chopped ingredients with ease before the ice-cream making began. Other food-related sessions were offered, such as Basket of Plenty and Good Eats Bistro.
“There are so many career options out there, and programs like Tech Knowledge College can help students with their choices as they progress through middle and high school,” said Katie VandeSlunt, college outreach specialist. “It also gives them a little sneak preview of college, and it’s something fun to do during summer break.”
This March, students who will be entering sixth through eighth grades in fall 2010 will be able to start signing up for their favorite sessions at the 20th annual Tech Knowledge College. Check out www.morainepark.edu/tkc starting in March.