POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - At a time when most students are ready for summer, some Poplar Bluff kids are getting ready for their futures.
Instead just going to regular classes, students at the junior high school got to choose five different hands-on workshops that spanned a variety of careers.
Cari Jameson is an instructional coach in the school district and says the 'Educational Expo' was all about giving the students choice and voice in what they want to pursue in their lives.
"We have at least 15 field trips going to nearby businesses, about 20 different professionals coming into the building, and teachers who are bringing their own expertise to the table," Jameson said. "Kids are very engaged in what they're doing, they're excited to go to their next session, and they get to pick."
7th grader Quinlan Grable wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up, so that's why she choose classes centered around animals and in one she got to dissect a dogfish shark.
"I want to cut it open and see the insides and see how everything is working in there. I've never actually seen a dogfish shark so I think it's going to be really cool."
After the completing the class Grable says she was surprised by how bad the smell was but says it's something that she can get over.
Other students like Beau Traxel thought of the event as a great way to start summer and help them start thinking about a job that fits.
"I got to do fun activities and I'm happy about that," Traxel said. "It gets your mind set of what you want to do when you grow up, if you don't know what to do like me."
Traxel sessions about sports, fishing, and went to two taught by first responders.
The first was demonstration put on by members of the Southeast Missouri Bomb Squad who showed off equipment they use to keep the public safe including a roughly $300,000 robot that can diffuse and carry a bomb away using it's claw operated by a remote control with a camera.
In the second Traxel raced against the clock to see how quickly he could put on the full gear that a firefighter wears.
"The firefighter said it can withstand 1500 degrees. That is a lot of padding to put on to withstand that much heat," Traxel said. "It got really hot, and I got it on in a 1:07, so I think that's pretty good for my first time."
Lexy Rowland, an 8th grader at Poplar Bluff, was learning moves in a self defense class and says she is looking forward to doing the even again next year.
"Because there were so many different other classes that I thought were interesting that I didn't take," Rowland said.
Grable is recommending that other schools and school districts start their own Ed Expo.
"Start talking to your teachers and your administrators to get them involved in trying to do it because it is an amazing experience," she said.