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Southern Ill. high school students visit SIU Aviation and Automotive Technology buildings

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:52 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - A first of its kind field trip gives dozens of Heartland high schoolers a chance to check out a future career.

The roar of an engine could mean the start of a new career.

Students came from Carbondale, Murphysboro, Vienna and Benton to get a first hand look at the Automotive Technology and Aviation programs offered at SIU.

“School isn’t just about ‘where am I going to go to school at?’ It’s about that career connection,” said Joshua Stafford the Vienna superintendent.

Stafford set up this unique field trip and nearly 150 students toured the facility.

“It’s been great to work with the three other schools and also the folks here at SIU, everybody has been very cooperative and on board in wanting to just do a better job at connecting kids to meaningful career paths,” said Stafford.

Carbondale Senior Matthew Nadolski said he wants to go into Automotive Technology.

“We learned a lot about the sensors and stuff like that. Just different, basically how the cars work, how they keep you safe, keep running,” said Nadolski.

Nadolski admitted he still has a lot to learn.

“It’s a lot of stuff I don’t really understand, but I’m getting there. It’s cool to see Just so much stuff that goes together, it all works together to make it work,” said Nadolski.

Vienna senior Jonathon Green also found himself drawn to the automotive side for one very obvious reason.

“The 2014 Corvette was way ahead of its time. That’s what they told us basically. That all the cruise control and everything like that, it was way ahead of 2014,” said Green.

Stafford called the trip part of a growing effort to work with university leaders to help students find their career paths.

“It’s been fun to walk around with our students hear the excitement about the opportunities that are out there about careers that they weren’t even aware of,” said Stafford.

Stafford said they are working on making this an annual event for students in the region.

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