700 high school students consider career options at Kansas Technology Center 

More than 700 students descended on the Kansas Technology Center on Friday to explore academic programs as they begin to make a career plan for what’s next for them after high school — a record, organizers say. 

Many came from Crawford County high schools, but there were several busloads coming in from hours away, including teachers from Circle High School in Towanda, Kansas — a nearly 3-hour drive, as well as schools further away like Illinois and Texas. 

“It’s worth it,” said Daniel Guthrie, who teaches technology courses at Circle High School and brought 21 students. 

“I feel strongly in the quality of the programs here, and this day is a great way for our students to experience it in a hands-on way. It’s a way to make contact with college students who are enrolled in these programs already, talk directly with faculty, so they can see exactly what it’s like. I’d encourage other teachers to bring their classes, too.” 

Eric Gudde, technology education teacher at Frontenac (Kansas) High School, brought a whopping 40 students, and said at least half of them are interested in a career in graphics, photography, or construction — programs that are nationally known and highly regarded at Pittsburg State. 

“These are students who are coming out of our building trades and digital media courses, so they’ve gotten good exposure to it in high school and are ready to take it to the next level,” he said. 

Michelle Laubenstein, the career and technical education director at Fort Scott (Kansas) High School, brought 34 students, many of whom also expressed interest in graphic design. 

“We’re bringing our students interested in automotive and other technologies in the spring, because we maxed out on numbers for this one this fall,” she said. 

Her daughter, Anna, a senior in graphic design, was among them. 

“It’s good to see what types of things are available here, and to see the products and packaging that students have made,” she said. “I’m still exploring my options as far as where to go. Seeing all the elements in person is important.” 

COT day 

Tanner Wiles, a junior at Southeast High School in Cherokee, Kansas, was back for his third year. One of his stops was the Plastics Engineering Technology lab, where Professor Rebeca Book was showing two students from Pittsburg High School the latest equipment the lab offers. 

“I’m still deciding,” Wiles said. “Each year they add new things, and this is a chance to see it and figure out my path.” 

University students helped provide tours, taking students past each of the 15 program areas in the College of Technology:  

  • • Automotive  
  • • Construction (Construction Engineering, Construction Technology, Construction Management, Electrical, Environmental and Safety Management, Interior Design) 
  • • Engineering Technology (Electronics Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Plastics Engineering) 
  • • Graphics and Imaging Technologies 
  • • Technology and Workforce Learning (Technology & Engineering Education, Workforce Development, Wood Tech) 

Demonstrations ranged from 3D printing to robotics and animation to heavy equipment to high pressure water jet cutting.  

COT open house

Learn more about the College of Technology.