PDCCC’s TechSpec offers additional CTE exploration and valuable lessons for high school students

Shakeim FleshmanA senior at Lakeland High School, Shakeim Fleshman experiences the difficulty of throwing corn hole bags while wearing vision impaired goggles. Conducting this exercise is George Ryan, a retired investigator with the District Attorney’s Office in Elizabeth City, N.C. Ryan currently works as a deputy at Chowan County Sheriff’s Office and runs a non-profit program, Street Safe, of Wilmington, N.C.
When Shakeim Fleshman casually tossed a corn hole bag, he had no idea how hard it would become once he donned a set of impaired vision goggles. It was hard enough just to stand on two legs for the Lakeland High School senior, much less take accurate aim.
In the meantime, Darcy Kilgore, another Lakeland senior, was trying to maneuver a golf cart around cones without a collision while sending a text message to a classmate’s phone.
These were just some of the activities that took place on April 26 at the Hobbs Suffolk Campus of Paul D. Camp Community College on Kenyon Road. TechSpec, a Career and Technical Education (CTE) exploration day for the students from high schools in PDCCC’s service region, was offered through PDCCC’s High School Career Coach Program.
During the month of April, which is Community College Month, more than 155 high school students received the opportunity to participate in activities like creating wind turbines, soldering and performing CPR at the community college. A session was held on the Franklin Campus on April 5 and the center in Smithfield on April 12.
Students rotated through the exploration sites that highlighted criminal justice, robotics, mechatronics, and nursing and allied health. Recruitment and Admissions Specialist and recent graduate of PDCCC Ellis “Trey” Cofield III shared some things to expect in college from a student perspective in a segment called, “What I Wish I Knew.”
“We have held CTE Exploration/STEM Days previously, but this year, we tried to be a bit more targeted to seniors who had an interest in attending Paul D. Camp Community College,” said High School Career Coach/Academic Advisor/ Adjunct Instructor Susan Stubenrauch. “We have had very positive feedback from these events.”

David Allen Malik Goode Brooke MillsLakeland High senior David Allen, from left, Kings Fork High senior Malik Goode and Lakeland senior Brooke Mills use their newfound soldering skills to secure components to a circuit board. The students built robots with PDCCC faculty Keisha Nichols and David Childs.

Joe De Stefano Darcy Kilgore 2Criminal Justice Lead Faculty Joe DeStefano rides with Lakeland High senior Darcy Kilgore as she tries to maneuver the golf cart around cones while texting.

MechatronicsAssociate Professor of Electronics/Mechatronics/Robotics David Lorenz helps students build wind turbines. Students, from left, are: LeonTre Bailey, Laqual Mizell, Jaquan Mason and Kevin Williams, who are all seniors at Kings Fork.

Paul Ruppert Nasya Batt WilkinsNasya Batt-Wilkins, a junior at Nansemond River High School, gets ready to try her hand at CPR techniques demonstrated by PDCCC EMT/EMS Program Coordinator Paul Ruppert.

Brandy Lowe Lauren LaceyBrandy Lowe, left, and Lauren Lacey, junior and senior, respectively, at Nansemond River High work on wind turbines during the mechatronics portion of the event.