Porter Hall entertains and educates local Upward Bound students

(10-22-2009)

upward bound students in porter hall

Dr. Christy Miller, professor of chemistry, middle, assists Upward Bound students, with the preparation of nylon. Pictured, left to right, Derek Hobbs, Sierra Grande High School, Michael Ruybal, Alamosa High School, and Dana Salazar, Alamosa High School.

Photo by Sonny Chavez

Identifying animal skulls, loud explosions, examining fossils and minerals, and the mystery of card tricks were all part of the Adams State College Porter Hall evening presentations to San Luis Valley Upward Bound students on October 7.

Celina Lavadour, a junior at Centauri High School, was one of 66 other participants from San Luis Valley schools including Alamosa, Antonito, Centauri, Centennial, Center, Del Norte, and Sierra Grande. Lavadour said she is interested in mathematics and found the evening's demonstrations valuable.

According to Angelica Gallegos, Upward Bound director, twice a month Upward Bound hosts night sessions and three times a semester they are held on the Adams State campus. "Our goal for this year is to expose our students to career exploration opportunities."

Professors and Adams State students led sessions and demonstrations. Carmen Thong, a junior at Alamosa High School, said she appreciated visiting with the college students, who were already "inside the school," rather than the just hearing the perspective from a staff member.

James Bedard, assistant professor of biology, said he believes it is important for high school students to participate in these types of activities in order to provide them with exposure to post-secondary education and to introduce to them the wide variety of career options available in science, mathematics, and technology.

Dr. Randy Emmons, professor of physics, agreed. He said while engineering is not of interest to every student, several students showed a keen curiosity in the demonstrations where microcontrollers were able to remotely control various aspects of manufacturing processes. "The event gave these students the unique opportunity to explore how their interests can be combined with new technology, leading to careers they might not know existed."

"The students were not only engaged, but very interested in the tie between the labs and the potential for careers," Gallegos said.

Upward Bound will continue providing students with insights to other career venues by having guest speakers, mini-workshops, and presentations. The next All-School session will be held in the Adams State Luther Bean Museum and will focus on career paths related to the preservation and exhibiting of museum artifacts.

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