Joseph Badger student Katie Greskovich, 15, was having fun with raw eggs while learning more about a career in engineering.
More than 130 Trumbull County high school students walked the halls of Kent State University at Trumbull to explore non-traditional careers in math and science on Friday during the 15th annual The Road Not Taken.
The event also includes a partnership with Trumbull Career and Technical Center.
Sharon Arkwright, product engineer for Tribune Chronicle / Bonnie L. Hazen
Delphi Packard Electric Systems, explains engineering to area high school students on Friday during Kent State University at Trumbull’s Road Not Taken event.
The students had 11 fields to choose from, including polymer science, finance, engineering, public health, entrepreneurship, chemistry, computer forensics, biotechnology, pharmacy, medicine and hospital careers. They were able to select four careers from the list.
Twenty-six students signed up to watch a presentation on engineering given by Sharon Arkwright, product engineer for Delphi Packard Electric Systems.
"It sounded interesting, and I knew there were a lot of different paths you can take in it," Joseph Badger student Kelsey Mislei, 16, said.
Arkwright, who has participated in the event for more than 10 years, brought products used in the engineering field to help her explain what engineers do and the skills required for the job.
"Engineers design products and solve problems by finding creative ways to make things work," she said. "Engineering is bringing the science elements together with creativity."
For one project, students created an egg cushion.
"It's a very interesting field and I like math and science a lot. This is really making me think about all the possibilities," Greskovich said after constructing a cushion out of straws and tape with her team partner, Mislei.
"It broke," the girls said in unison after performing the test.
"We didn't have enough time to properly construct our cage," Mislei explained, but Greskovich added, "It was a good experience, though."
Arkwright said The Road Not Taken is an important opportunity for students to learn more about non-traditional careers.
"I think a lot of the careers are hard to understand on paper and without talking to someone in the field ... it's hard to make those decisions," she said. "Even if they learn engineering is not for them, to have that firsthand experience is really important. We should do it for the boys, too."
Robb King, marketing coordinator for Kent State at Trumbull, said that is something for them to consider in the future.
"I think the fact that an event like this has gone on for as many years as it has is really a testament to the people who participate," he said.
King said the students fill out a survey at the conclusion of each year's conference, which the school then consults when deciding which careers to feature the following year.
"We do get feedback from everybody that attends. It's always incredibly positive," he said.
This year, the schools that participated included Badger, Bloomfield, Bristol, Brookfield, Champion, Girard, Warren G. Harding, Howland, Hubbard, Kennedy and LaBrae high schools. Students in high math or science in any Trumbull County high school can participate.
"I think everybody sees the benefits in a program like this," King said.