In May, Barnes Elementary School, part of Kelso School District, hosted a career exploration event tailored for elementary-age students. The event was part of an ongoing effort to introduce elementary students to career options, including those related to emergency services, and to enlighten parents about the various courses and programs available to high school students.

“This was a great community event that gave the elementary students a preview of the high-quality CTE programs that they’ll be old enough to take advantage of in a few short years, and the family-wage and high-demand careers those CTE programs can lead to,” said Chad Mullen, Career Connected Learning and STEM Programs Manager at ESD 112.

Regional emergency services professionals representing fire, law enforcement, the K9 unit, and medical response agencies, along with Kelso High School (KHS) Career and Technical Education (CTE) students set up activities and emergency response vehicles for kindergarten – 5th grade students to explore and learn about.

KHS Fire Science students assisted with a fire hose demonstration

Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue and the Longview Police Department brought Emergency Service vehicles, while KHS Health Science students set up a finger splint station for the Barnes Elementary students to experience. KHS Police Science students set up an obstacle course and participated in a live demonstration with the K9 unit. KHS Fire Science students assisted with a fire hose demonstration, putting out the flames of the model house that was brought on site for the exercise, set up a CPR station allowing the younger students to practice what they learned, and gave tours of the fire truck that was brought on site.

“Staff and students are still talking about this event because it created a positive memory for our elementary students that gets them excited about the amazing CTE course offerings they get to explore as high school students,” said Melissa Boudreau, CTE Director at Kelso School District, and a member of the planning team for the event. “My favorite memory from that day was when all the emergency vehicles were driving off site with their lights and sirens flashing. They drove off during recess and the kiddos clapped and cheered as they drove off campus!”

Click here to learn more about Career Connected Learning and STEM Programs at ESD 112.