News 12 This Morning / Monday, June 11, 2012
AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. -- Rising eighth graders in Aiken County will be expected choose a career path in the fall. Some of them are spending the summer exploring their options at the Aiken Career Technology Center.
"We got to look at most of the machines. We learned how to change certain fluids from a car, that was pretty cool," said 13-year-old Eddie Giroir, a rising eighth grader.
Giroir took an early interest in the automotive classes.
"I really like cars," he said. "Mostly, old cars, muscle cars."
From welding and cosmetology to health sciences, the props, the machines and the equipment are all there for students to experience what it's like in the field during the Career Education Technical Camp.
"The purpose is to give students a kind of a window to see what does in fact go on," said Brooks Smith, director of the Aiken Career and Technology Center.
It's the first year the career center is targeting a younger group.
"In the eighth grade in South Carolina, this is when students begin their individual graduation plan," Smith said.
It's the flexible plan the students chart in order to take the right classes for their potential future careers.
"They are finding there are a lot of careers that are fun," Smith said. "They don't need to be afraid of them."
By carving out and exploring the skills they need, these students may have an easier time finding employment down the line.
"Manufacturing is making a comeback in our area," Smith added.
Health sciences will also be a big field, considering our area has a strong gateway to those career opportunities. Giroir is taking his time deciding what he'll want to focus on when classes start back up.
The students also had a chance to learn from seniors going into the career field they were interested in. Organizers are hoping to hold another career camp next year for rising eighth graders. They want more students to sign up the next go-around.