What a great start to our 8th grade tours today. Today, Monday, we had Crestview 8th graders visit us in the morning and the afternoon session we welcomed Parkway 8th graders. It is always so much fun to have the students visit us. One, it is neat to see the excitement on their faces as they walk through each one of our labs. We break the visitors up into 16 different groups, one group for each of our labs, and each group has six minutes per lab. This isn't a whole lot of time but it is just enough to give them a taste of what life is like at Vantage and all the interesting things that are available to them should they choose to come here as 11th graders. The eighth graders are allowed to do hands-on activities in many of the labs. It is always fun to see them use the plasma cutter in Auto Body and watch them jump when the sparks fly, or watch them use the Oculus Rift in Network Systems and see their reaction as they soar on a 3D roller coaster ride.
The second most interesting thing I enjoy watching is our current students and their reaction to the eighth graders. You hear things like, "I remember coming here as an eighth grader and it was really cool, it helped me decide which program I wanted". I even hear many of them saying, "I can't believe these guys are eighth graders, they look so young". It's really funny when our students realize that it has been three or four years ago since they were in eighth grade.
The main purpose for having the eighth grade tours is to give these students a chance to start exploring different career fields. For many of these students, it is their first time seeing how many different fields of work they can go into when they get older. Career advising is an important part of a students education. The state is now pushing that career advising begins at a very early age in the student's education. We need to let the younger students see that they have choices and options when they get older.
I also want to explain to our current students who are reading this. I understand that you are in a certain program here at Vantage. However, if you are not sure if this is the right one for you, come and talk to me about your options. Let's talk about what you want to do when you graduate and let's explore how your current program may help you in other fields. Career advising is an important part of my job here at Vantage and it is also important to Mr. Knott and the entire Vantage team. I hope if you have questions, you will stop by and talk with us. I also hope you will advise your friends to do the same if they have questions. We have a career advising plan here at Vantage that I have included. You can read it by clicking here if you are on our Vantage network.
Well tomorrow is day two of our eighth grade tours. I'm sure it will be very busy. Please take the time to welcome these students to our school. Strike up a conversation with them, ask them if they have any questions and tell them how much you enjoy Vantage. I also want to send out a great big thank you to our students who are leading the eighth graders around. All of you are doing an excellent job. Keep up the great work!