Special to the News Messenger
Over 100 fourth graders from Travis Elementary School recently came to tour the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) campus in Marshall. The TSTC tour in partnership with Marshall Independent School District (MISD), provided a unique look at the current and future job skills taught at one of Marshall’s four local higher education institutions.
“Don’t touch the exhibits” was not something heard on this tour. The 9 and 10-year-olds were encouraged to get a hands-on experience. Students were separated into groups that moved from one program to the next. At each stop they were experiencing, seeing, touching, asking questions, and learning about robotics, machinery, vacuum chambers, pneumatics, circuits, cyber skills, and computer network systems that TSTC trains their students on.
The Travis students visited with current TSTC students and instructors from the Electrical Lineman Program, Cybersecurity, Process Operations, Computer Aided Drafting and Design, Precision Machining, Computer Networking and Systems, and Automation and Controls Technology among others.
Students asked a wide variety of questions including who is controlling the robot, how do motors move so fast, how can water boil without it being hot and how do linemen climb electric poles without them slipping.
Dirk Hughes, Executive Director of Workforce Training at TSTC, had an individual exhibit discussing the changes in technology and how new skills for new generations must be taught.
“It’s always good to be able to bring students here, even the younger students, to learn what we do here. About the 4th grade, students start seeing some direction of where they want to go. The things I’m stressing to these kids, is that science and math are so important, not just for TSTC but for any kind of program or job that is out there. If you have a decent foundation in science and a decent foundation in math, your life is going to be so much better,” Hughes said.
Marshall Economic Development (Marshall EDC) was pleased to attend and observe the tour.
“These are very impressive kids. They are engaged and are having fun while learning a little bit more about what paths could lead to high paying lifetime careers in Marshall and the surrounding community. It’s very encouraging to see this level of participation not only from the kids, but also between the school district and higher education. I applaud their dedication to Marshall’s children. Very well done,” Director of Business Services for Marshall EDC Rush Harris said.
Marshall EDC would like to thank TSTC staff, students, and instructors as well as the Travis Elementary School teachers and their awesome students who attended, including the classes of Ms. Young, Ms. Jordan, Ms. McLin, Ms. Flowers, Ms. Sanchez and Mr. Ervin.