GREAT FALLS – Students from high schools and middle schools had the chance to explore the million-dollar question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” on Wednesday.
Great Falls College-MSU hosted the “Pathway for Your L.I.F.E.” event at Montana ExpoPark, where students had the opportunity to not only explore potential career opportunities, but with hands-on activities in those career fields.
L.I.F.E. stands for Learn, Interact, Formulate, and Educate. The goal is for students to learn about many different career pathways, interact with people who work in those pathways, formulate a plan about how students can think about their future, and educate their family members about what they experienced.
“This is an opportunity to sort of open their eyes to seeing all the different areas they can explore and it allows them to do it in an interactive way,” said Montana Career Pathways Coordinator Shannon Marr.
Industries represented included: construction and manufacturing, finance and business, arts, communication and marketing, information technology, education, human services, law and public safety, transportation and distribution, allied health, and natural resources and agriculture.
Examples of some of the hands-on activities include: Best Friends Animal Hospital looking at blood smears through microscopes, Montana Highway Patrol had their patrol vehicle with them along with their equipment, The Good Wood Guys showing off their carpentry skills, and an engineering firm looking at water usage.
It’s an interactive event so students can experience something of what it’s like to be working with in that career field.
Marr said the earlier to get students thinking about their future career path, the better. She said, “Students can’t wait until their senior year of high school to decide what they’re doing after high school. To even get them thinking about options, they’re not all going need to go to four year college, they’re maybe not all going to need to go to two year college, but they’re all going to need to have some sort of training and exposure to what careers are out there, and so the earlier we start the better. “
The event is a partnership between Great Falls College-MSU, Great Falls Public Schools, and United Way of Cascade County.
Approximately 500 students from 15 different schools attended the event, which featured more than 50 different career stand options.
Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News