SHERIDAN — After an absence of several years, the Sheridan College Technology Expo and Open House is set to return Wednesday at the SC campus tech center and the SC Construction Technology Shop at 244 N. Brooks St.
The event aims to showcase both students and programs of the SC Technology Department.
“We decided this would be a good way to open our doors to the community and prospective students,” said construction and technology instructor Josh Michelena. “We’d like to showcase what students are being trained in out at the college.”
Alongside fellow faculty member Kevin Fox, Michelena organized this year’s event as a way to highlight SC’s welding, machine tool, diesel, construction and computer drafting programs to area high school students. While the day’s events will entail a series of 40-minute presentations from college students to their high school visitors, the program will also feature an afternoon open house for members of the community.
About 60 high school students from various schools around the region are expected to attend the event. They will attend demonstrations ranging from welding processes, machine operations, the use of diagnostic tools, three-dimensional modeling and hydraulic measurements.
While the day’s events aim largely at recruiting SC’s next generation of tech students, Michelena said they’re also intended to provide a window into the programs for the local community.
As Sheridan’s primary entrance into the fields of construction and technology, the SC programs play a key role in training workers for area businesses. Michelena said the program is all the more important given the increasing necessity that construction workers obtain a formal education.
“In some of the industries…they’re not going to be able to get their foot in the door without that certificate or that (Associate of Science) degree,” he said. “It also provides them with a better starting wage.”
Michelena said existing partnerships between SC and area companies already create a level of cooperation between the educational and business sectors, but the expo is a step toward improving that relationship even further.
“We’re trying to train students for a broad cross-section of industry opportunities,” he said.
The high school portion of the event will take place from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. while the community open house will operate between 4:30-7 p.m. at both the campus and downtown locations. Organizers encourage visitors to wear closed-toed shoes and bring eye protection.
Adding to the day’s events, this year’s Tech Expo is being held in conjunction with SC’s 11th annual Border Wars Event. As of Monday, about 70 students from Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota were pre-registered to attend the event at the Watt Agriculture Complex on the SC campus.
Participating Future Farmers of America students will have an opportunity to compete in categories, which include an agricultural issues forum, agricultural sales and environmental resources.
Prizes will be awarded to the top team from each state in each contest. Scholarships and prizes will also be given to the top individuals in each event.
Intended as a warm-up, the events are similar to what students will experience during their respective state FFA competitions in April.
Natural resources and ranch land management instructor Keith Klement said that hosting the event in conjunction with the Tech Expo will allow the college a unique opportunity to showcase its programs to high school students across the region.