TekNoXpo shares the joy of technical sciences

 


Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson

Box Elder High School senior Ciara Swan learns how to operate a backhoe to knock over three cones at the Big Equipment Rodeo during Montana State University-Northern's 3rd Annual Technology-Knowledge-Exposition event Wednesday morning. Montana high school juniors and seniors were invited to TekNoXpo to learn more about the College of Technical Sciences' programs.

What better way to get students thinking about a future in technical sciences than to have them play basketball with a backhoe?

That was the idea behind Wednesday's 3rd Annual Technology-Knowledge-Exposition, or TekNoXpo, on Montana State University-Northern's campus.

Nearly 150 students from surrounding schools came to Northern to learn about the technical sciences.

"We try to make it a fun day for kids to expose them to opportunities in higher education, especially the technical field, " Greg Kegel, dean of Northern's College of Technical Sciences, said. "We try to set up a kind of carnival atmosphere. "


A large parking lot on the south side of the campus, near the Applied Technology Center, was roped off and filled with various large machines, like backhoes and skidsters, that were used to play games, like basketball, or run a relay race.

"A lot of those kids don't have an idea what these technologies are, " Kegel said. "We take them through business opportunities and through the equipment. "

Christine Locke, agriculture teacher from Big Sandy High School, has brought students to the event all three years.

"I think it's great that they can see what they can do, " Locke said, "and get them thinking about what they want to do after high school. "

She said, since bringing students there, she has seen a handful of her students end up at Northern after graduation.

Kendrick McKeever, a Big Sandy senior who has been at all three TekNoXpos, said he would like to be one of them.

"Honestly, I hadn't even considered coming here before coming here two years ago, " McKeever said.

For Kegel, and other technical sciences officials, that is just the reaction they wanted.

"It's been a big success, " Kegel said. "Our programs in the last three years have risen. There's more awareness as to what Northern's doing, especially on the technical side. I think it's had an impact. "

 

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