Southern Ill. high school students visit SIU Aviation and Automotive Technology buildings

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) – A first-of-its-kind field trip gives dozen of Heartland high school students the opportunity to explore their future careers.

The roar of an engine could mark the start of a new career.

Students came from Carbondale, Murphysboro, Vienna and Benton to get a first glimpse of the courses in automotive engineering and aviation offered at the SIU.

“School is not just about ‘Where do I go to school?’ It’s about this professional connection, ”said Vienna Superintendent Joshua Stafford.

Stafford organized this unique excursion and nearly 150 students toured the facility.

“It was great to work with the three other schools and also the people here at SIU. Everyone was very cooperative and just wanted to do a better job connecting kids to meaningful career paths, ”said Stafford.

Carbondale Sr. Matthew Nadolski said he wanted to get into automotive engineering.

“We learned a lot about the sensors and the like. Just different, basically how the cars work, how they protect you, keep driving, ”said Nadolski.

Nadolski admitted that he still has a lot to learn.

“It’s a lot of things that I don’t really understand, but I’m getting there. It’s cool to see that so much fits together, that everything fits together to make it work, ”said Nadolski.

The Viennese senior Jonathon Green was also drawn to the automotive side for a very obvious reason.

“The 2014 Corvette was way ahead of its time. Basically, that’s what they told us. That all the cruise control and so on, it was way ahead of 2014, ”said Green.

Stafford called the trip part of a growing effort to work with university leaders to help students find their career path.

“It was fun walking around with our students and hearing the excitement about the opportunities there are in careers they didn’t even know about,” said Stafford.

Stafford said they are working to make this an annual event for students in the area.

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