LAURINBURG — School might be out for summer, but rising seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students were hard at work Monday at Scotland High participating in CTE Summer Camp.
CTE is short for career and technical education, which are courses offered at the high school that focus on teaching students specific skills and preparing them for various occupations in the community.
Campers were allowed to pick from one of seven pathways to explore including culinary arts, digital media, agriculture, business, marketing and information technology, health science and trade and industry.
Some of the individual classes were adventures in architecture were students learned to read blueprints and create 3D models of homes. Trade and industry had three students working to build an elevated dog house with electrical, a shingled roof and vinyl siding.
Health science was broken down into biotechnology, which incorporated health science, environmental, agricultural and several other concepts, phlebotomy and a first aid and CPR course.
Felicia Ingram, CTE instructional management at Scotland High School, said between 90-100 students signed up for camp. This is the first year Scotland High has offered just CTE camp, prior to this summer CTE was partnered with GEAR UP.
“You want to know why you learn math, science and social studies,” said Ingram. “This is a great way to answer that why for the students. When you have that hands on and students can see that connection and absolutely they achieve more. You can see grades from the curriculum area going up as well as CTE enrollment going up.”
Ingram said focusing on rising seventh, eighth and ninth grade students was intentional because they have a discovery type of mindset.
“We understand those are pivotal years that they are trying to decide, I like this or no I don’t like this,” she said. “With them being in a discovery mindset we felt that was the best group to get so they could understand exactly what CTE is and how it can benefit them.”
The other benefit for the rising freshmen is they get a chance to familiarize themselves with the building and teachers for the upcoming fall.
The most popular courses this year according to Ingram are culinary, STEM and health science. In order to attract more students to the other pathways, Ingram said she plans to provide better descriptions of what campers will be doing.
“We did an overarching description of each pathway so some kids were drawn to health science because they liked how it sounded,” Ingram said. “If we get more specific in our description I think you’ll see more of a balance of students coming in.”
Ingram is confident the camp will attract more students next year as the current campers tell their friends and family about the experience they had and exposure from this year’s camp using brochures campers in the digital media classes produce.
“When you have something like this and you start off small the only thing you can do is grow,” she said.
The camp was free to students in the three grade levels and transportation along with breakfast and lunch were provided.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]