Tevin Sylvester doesn’t read books when it comes to electrical circuitry. He chooses to stare it down – and get the information he needs.
“I can’t learn anything about mechanics by reading a manual,” Sylvester said, studying the ins and outs of a three-way switch and other lighting systems with Electrical Technology Instructor Timothy White at Thursday’s Career Exploration Day at the Vicksburg Convention Center.
“I need to take it apart and see how it works,” the Vicksburg High School senior said. “A few months ago, I took apart my xBox 360 and a PlayStation 3 and put them back together again.”
Sylvester and about 1,200 fellow seniors and juniors in the Vicksburg Warren School District who attended the event got to read, touch and, in some cases, work the controls with instructors from about 40 career and technical programs available across Hinds’ six campuses. Supplementing that were exhibits from private employers and local government.
“The whole purpose is for them to explore careers,” District Director of Enrollment Services Kathryn Cole said. “We feel strongly about making kids aware of career opportunities and the education it takes to get them there.
“They can get some hands-on experience so they can really figure out what these careers are all about and make some informed decisions.”
VHS senior Darius Tucker wants to parlay his love for helping people into a career in physical therapy or the medical field, but he got to move some dirt on Thursday, thanks to a simulator courtesy of Stribling Equipment LLC.
The machine allowed attendees to climb behind the wheel of a virtual front end loader that showed in high definition what kind of job they’d do on a construction site. Next to the flat-screen monitor was the actual front end loader, neighbored by a truck belonging to Empire Truck Sales LLC students could climb into. Each company was a major sponsor of the event.
“It was fun to try it out,” Tucker said. “I’m wanting to do physical therapy because I like helping people.”
Other hands-on experiences at the expo featured free haircuts from the college’s Barbering program, a sample of leather refined by ISA TanTec, which began production in Warren County earlier this year, a full-size Entergy bucket truck and a police cruiser belonging to the Vicksburg Police Department.
The wide range of career-tech programs available at Hinds appealed to those students still mulling their futures.
“I’m visiting the tables that touch my interests, which have been music, culinary and nursing,” said Taylor Middleton, a Warren Central High School senior visiting tables at the expo with fellow senior Jordan Moncrief.
“I’m just impressed with all what Hinds offers,” Moncrief said. “It’s what’s impressed me most.”
Partnering on the event with Hinds were the Vicksburg Warren School District and the Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce.