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On a cold morning, over 100 Fort Atkinson Middle School (FAMS) students trekked through Fort Atkinson to participate in Career Day, where they learned firsthand about area careers. Students toured four businesses including Opportunities, Inc., NASCO, Madison Area Technical College (MATC) and FortHealth in part of a field trip through their Careers class on December 9. 

At Opportunities, Inc. the students engaged in careers such as packaging and assembly, manufacturing, finance, vocational rehabilitation, public relations and safety. The students were able to participant in a light assembly project, toured the facility, and worked as a group to write a press release. 

At MATC the students discovered what types of classes are offered such as welding, healthcare, and science courses. They observed a new mechanical prototype being made to pick up brush, watched a medical training session, and learned about Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).  Many of them enjoyed interacting with the mannequins by checking their pulse, listening to their breathing and their heartbeat. 

FortHealth introduced careers within the health field including dietetics, pharmacy, radiology, physical therapy, accounting and health information management. The students visited the simulation lab where they learned the specifics of radiology. 

During their tour at NASCO, the students visited with Jordan Nelson in the live department and explored the warehouse. Students were able to touch a pig lung, see different kinds of animals and learn about the preserving process. They also observed how to create a catalog cover using Adobe software. 

“We were able to see something being made from step one to the final process,” Hunter Dillen stated regarding what he experienced at Opportunities, Inc. “ Another student, Alex Nordberg noted on what he learned at MATC, “We didn’t think that electricity tied into so many things, like being able to keep our hearts going.”

Other students mentioned that learning careers in the classroom is one thing, but seeing them firsthand and hearing from local workers brings the job to reality. They also expressed that not all the jobs seem as they appear; that there’s more to each of the jobs than they thought. 

This was the first time the Fort Atkinson Middle School held this type of field trip. With the success of the day and participation between all four businesses they are already planning for another trip in the spring.

Career Day
FAMS 8th grade students Katie Bertucci and Samantha Rocco learning about public relations at Opportunities, Inc. during Career Day.