Students try college for day with visit to KSU-Salem

Elijah Huyghe, 12, left, and Stephen Tirabassi, 11, tend to a tornado during a lesson Friday with Dr. Doug Motry, a Kent State University Salem campus chemistry professor. About 186 fifth graders from Salem Southeast school descended on the campus for College in a Day, rotating between learning stations in the chem lab, nursing, horticulture and radiation therapy. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

SALEM — Southeast school fifth graders tried out college for a day during a visit to the Kent State University Salem campus Friday.

“We’re just trying to get kids early on to think about life after high school,” Interim Dean David Dees, PhD., said.

Kent State Salem hosted 186 students for the first-ever “College in a Day” event, rotating groups of students between learning stations manned by faculty from nursing, radiology, chemistry and horticulture.

Horticulture Professor Chris Carlson talked to students about various plants while nursing instructor Diane Hill showed students some of the equipment used in the nursing program, including the lifelike mannequins who stand in as patients.

Victoria Migge, a radiation therapy instructor, let students try on masks used by patients during radiation treatments and stretch out on the table where a patient would have to lie perfectly still.

Dr. Doug Motry, Professor of Chemistry, let the students loose in the state-of-the-art chemistry lab to create mini tornadoes in beakers.

Southeast School Principal Lisa DeRose liked the hands-on aspect of the lessons and said the students were excited about the visit and very engaged.

“They thought it was really cool that they were going to be working with professors,” she said.

A program like this gives students a boost and it’s motivational because they can see the possibilities. It helps kids get that can-do attitude for career and college readiness, she said.

“We’ve got all kinds of cool programs going,” Dees said.

For this program, the idea was to give kids an opportunity to start thinking about the future, about being workskills ready and college ready. He also said they wanted to show them that there’s a major university right where they live.

“We’re really trying to show people what gift is in their back yard,” he said.

His wife, Jennifer, is a teacher at Southeast School.

Students left with some souvenirs and even got to meet Flash, the school mascot. DeRose said they’re going to retain the information they learned.



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