Occupation Celebration Brings Exciting Careers to Weeks

What do a chinchilla, a dentist's chair and a KMAX helicopter have in common? All were part of the Occupation Celebration at C.R. Weeks Elementary School.

Students spent the morning touring professional vehicles from 16 businesses and departments, including the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park, Lourdes Hospital, NYSEG, New York State Police and the Broome County Sherrif's Office.

"They got to see things up close they wouldn't see otherwise," said C.R. Weeks School Counselor Liz Sharkan. "These are people in the community. The students can put faces to jobs and familiarize themselves with careers they woudn't otherwise."

"I think it's good so kids can learn what they want to be when the grow up and explore the different jobs," said 5th-grader Christian Varelakis, who says he'd like to be a nuclear biochemist when he grows up.

The highlight of the day came in the afternoon when when a KMAX helicopter landed behind the school with the student body looking on.

"I liked it when he landed because there was a lot of wind," said 2nd grader Danika Smith.

Once on the ground nine-time combat pilot Jerry McCauley took part in a Q & A with the students. Officials from Lockheed Martin also stressed the importance of math and science to the students. They explained it takes more than a pilot to get a helicopter off the ground. It takes aeronautical, mechanical and computer engineers, as well as others.

"It was interesting because of all of the jobs that he said," said Smith.

Sharkan says she is looking for different ways to expose students to careers in the future. Some potential options are career field trips, or a STEM or art-themed career day. You can go to our Facebook and Twitter pages to see videos from Occupation Celebration at Weeks Elementary.

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