Students get an inside look into professions

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Piggott High School held it's second annual Academic Festival for their alternative learning program.

A large variety of business professionals put together hands on presentations for students that directly related to their own area of expertise.

Piggott High School Geometry Teacher, Faith Conley, says the purpose of the Academic Festival is to open doors for their students.

"We want to give our students an idea of what's out there," Conley said. "Let them know what they're going to encounter when they get out of school."

Conley said there was a little bit of everything available to the students to rotate through.

"The voting machines are here, today," Conley said. "If they're 18 they can register to vote. The Arkansas Game and Fish Aquarium is here. Our chemistry club is doing a number of activities. FCCLA is talking to students about enrollment. Our computer lab is doing some things with some of our younger groups. The local bank is here. Local officials, the Clay County Judge, some representatives from NASA, we just have a lot of things going on."

Members of the local hospital were on hand to speak to students about nursing and x-ray technology.

A representative from Arkansas State University was discussing robotics with students and one person was even going over ATV safety.

Conley says it's important to them that they make sure their students are provided with every possible opportunity for advancement.

"We're in kind of a remote location up here in Northeast Arkansas," Conley said. "We want our kids to see what's out in the world. And this gives them a chance to see beyond the scope of Piggott, but also what is available for them to do in Piggott."

Conley says the students seem to really get a kick out of the different choices to learn from.

"I think the students really like it," Conley said. "For one thing, they're not just sitting in a classroom being lectured to. They're getting involved in they're education in a hands on way."

Freshman Abby Holcomb says she thought the presentations were fascinating.

"It's all pretty interesting," Holcomb said. "We get to see other people that teach us other things that we don't get to learn here in school."

Conley says an event like this is something she feels all schools should take the time to be a part of for the sake of their students.

"This helps the students know that learning is fun," Conley said. "And that you always never quit learning. So, for the other schools I would say get your kids involved in as much out in the community as possible. Let them know that the school is a part of the community, and not a separate entity."

450 students in grades seven through twelfth attended the many different presentations.

For additional information about Piggott High School, click here.

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