Let the games begin

Area high schoolers compete in culinary, industrial tech and business events

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS Welding was one area of competition at Monday’s Career Extravaganza, and area high school students were graded on the overall quality of their welds. Other students showed their skills in construction, pastry-making, job interviews, video presentations and early childhood information.

From sawhorses and welding to cupcakes and job interviews, hundreds of area high school students tested their skills in career and technical education Monday morning.

“It’s to support the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in the (surrounding) school districts,” said Area Education Agency 267 Director of Special Programs Rod Ball of the Career Extravaganza hosted at Marshalltown Community College with AEA 267. “(CTE) would be family and consumer science, business classes and industrial tech, and we’re supporting that by providing competitions in those areas.”

High school students from BCLUW, West Marshall, East Marshall, Marshalltown and GMG participated in the events. Panels of judges reviewed students’ performance and declared winning teams in each competition.

On the industrial technology side, one group of students paired up and were judged on their welding skills, including their weld consistency, location, thickness and size.

Another group of students assembled sawhorses and were judged on their safety, cleanliness, cut lengths and accuracy, and overall appearance.

On the family and consumer science end, an early childhood-themed competition took place.

“I think it’s a good learning experience,” said West Marshall freshman Jessly Ash, who competed in the “Focus on Children” presentation competition.

Fellow West Marshall student Samantha Gerke said she was nervous ahead of the presentation, but confident it would go well.

Additionally, some students refurbished and repurposed used home and fashion items

“It’s really exciting, you’re in front of all those judges,” said Marshalltown junior Michelle Macias, who had repurposed a bird feeder. “It’s an adrenaline rush.”

There was also a culinary competition at the extravaganza, as several groups competed in “Cupcake Wars” to see whose pastry-making skills were the best.

“Rapid Interviews” was designed to mimic a job interview process, and others showed their visual media skills in the “Video Presentation” competition.

All of Monday’s events were designed to help students hone their skills and find out more about the path they may want to take in life.

“It makes them put together a project, there’s some accountability,” Ball said. “All of these areas fit needs, to have the kids figure out what they want to do.”


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com