Students flip for ‘FLIP’

More than 60 sophomores in the Southern Red River Valley were exposed to non-traditional careers. 'FLIP,' held on the North Dakota State College of Science campus, allowed young women to learn about programs such as building construction and young men to learn about pharmacy technology and more. Officials say the day was successful and well-received.

More than 60 students in the Southern Red River Valley recently learned there is no such thing as “women’s work” and “men’s work.”

The youth participated in FLIP, held Wednesday, March 6 on the campus of North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton. Flip allowed females to learn about programs and careers previously considered male-dominated and vice versa.

A total of 25 males and 39 females participated. Sophomores, they represented schools and communities including Fairmount, Wyndmere, Lidgerwood and Hankinson, North Dakota, as well as Campbell and Tintah, Minnesota. Reaction was positive, according to Danielle Luebke, a career development counselor with the Southeast Region Career and Technology Center.

“They thought the day was great. Students were talking about it on the bus, in the classrooms and with their friends. They were excited to share what they learned. It was a great use of time and effort,” Luebke said.

On the agenda

Female students learned about:

• auto technology — including comprehensive lessons about automobile warning lights, the fluids a vehicle uses and how to properly maintain tires

• building construction — despite cold temperatures, the young women helped shingle a roof which was indoors at the time

• land surveying — this field could not be demonstrated, due to weather conditions

Male students learned about:

• pharmacy technology — they made their their own lip balm

• occupational therapy assistance — including wearing sensory-altering equipment to simulate the experience of being elderly or sight-impaired

• liberal arts — specifically, a discussion on social work careers

• culinary arts — including preparing the dessert bananas Foster

Assistance welcome

Five career development counselors work for the Southeast Region center, Luebke explained.

“Four of us wrote a grant to assist in the funding for FLIP,” she continued. “We received $3,200 to cover the cost of transportation, non-traditional mentors and more.”

The non-traditional mentors included the culinary arts leaders, five NDSCS students participating in the school’s culinary arts program.

“We wanted students to keep an open mind. We knew they were not all going to be interested in all the careers presented. Still, they kept an open mind and were respectful,” Luebke said.

The grant was provided by the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education.

“It was a productive kind of day,” said Tana Erbes, project outreach specialist with NDSCS. “We haven’t yet received results from our post-event survey, but we do know several of the counselors reported the students were excited. It certainly made an impression on them.”

Dan Rood, Jr., director of the Southeast Region Career and Technology Center, was unavailable for comment.

“My administration has been so supportive,” Luebke continued. “When we have a really good day, with the kids coming back excited, it makes it worth all this.”

Five Choices

On Tuesday, March 12, the TrainND department at NDSCS partnered with the Wahpeton Breckenridge Rotary Club to hold “Five Choices.”

A life organization class, Five Choices was presented to 29 participants. It was designed to teach how to be extraordinarily productive.

The five choices are:

• Act on the important, don’t react to the urgent

• Go for extraordinary, don’t settle for ordinary

• Schedule the big rocks, don’t settle for gravel

• Rule your technology, don’t let it rule you

• Fuel your fire, don’t burn out

“It was a nice example of building community development,” said Dr. Jace Picken, Rotary president. “We hope to hold another class in the future.”

Shawn Longhenry, membership co-chair for Rotary, said participants enjoyed the course. Feedback included comments that it was a great seminar and helped members understand daily priorities.

“One of our focuses is on the economic development of a community,” Longhenry continued. “This event actually wasn’t a fundraiser, but rather provided as a service for the community.”

Companies participating in Five Choices received a $50 discount for each Rotarian they employ. To learn more about Rotary, contact Longhenry at 701-640-8756.

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