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Middle School Students Test-Drive Careers


A boy in an aquamarine shirt stands with his arm atop a black grill that he made


Whether it’s learning how to make the perfect cupcake, how to build your own grill or hypnotizing chickens, the students at Eastern Suffolk BOCES (ESBOCES) Summer Career Exploration learned a few valuable skills during their summer vacation. ESBOCES Summer Career Exploration is for students in grades 8-10 who may consider pursuing Career and Technical Education. Classes are offered in a variety of subjects, including Welding, Engineering, Animal Care, Culinary Arts, Cosmetology and Automotive Technology classes. The program has three locations in Bellport, Oakdale, and Riverhead.

The ESBOCES Summer Career Exploration ran for three weeks during the month of July. Classes ran from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday. From the first day, students were exposed to the tools of the trade such as torches in the Welding class or operating a car lift in the Automotive Technology class.

“Thinking about your career doesn’t start in high school,” said Marjorie Guzewicz, administrative coordinator for Literacy, Career Technology, and Adult Education. “Students can start considering what they want to do in middle school or even earlier. Summer Career Exploration allows them to try new things, make new friends, and be engaged during their summer break.”

Students who have never welded before built their own grills in the Metal Magic Welding class offered at Milliken Technical Center and Islip Academic Center in Oakdale.

Students attending Milliken Technical Center in Oakdale and Ward Technical Center in Riverhead learned Cosmetology, including how to do hair and facials.

A teacher assists a students who is putting rollers in the hair of an instructional mannequin.  A boy holds up a hot dog on a stick that he is preparing to make corn dogs