“The main goal is to show our students that what we are teaching is relevant to their life after school,” said Jenny Borden, chair of the science department at Walker Valley High School.
Borden said many of the students had enjoyed hearing about the genetic counselor’s job of “counseling families whose children have genetic disorders” and explaining what a mother-to-be can expect if her baby has a developmental disorder.
Other highlights included a visit from the Med Evac helicopter and presentations by paramedics, firefighters, a genetics counselor, a design engineer and others.
The career fair took the place of any science or math classes the students had for the day. Borden said the students heard two presentations in the duration of one class.
“Each teacher who participates gets a speaker and it’s usually something that they have an interest in,” Borden said. “Or something that their class is studying.”
Borden said her class is studying water chemistry, so she had someone who works for a pool company as a guest. Many of the guest presenters are based on ideas from the teachers and students.
“They are focusing on the things they need to be studying now, how the math and science relate to the career, then they are also talking to them about higher education,” Borden said.
In the college level statistics class, the career day speaker was an actuary who spoke about his work using statistics to determine the likelihood of certain events occurring.
Representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Chattanooga Zoo were also present to explain the various roles STEM fields play in their organizations.
The day serves as a great opportunity for members of the community to partner with the school, according to Borden. She said the teachers try to have a wide variety of professionals speak to the students. The school has held a career fair every semester for the past three years.