When I Grow Up Expo brings industry experts and day of friendly competition to HISD

A SWAT truck, underwater robotics, construction materials, and sample rotating drill bits. Visitors saw that and more when attending the second annual When I Grow Up Expo. The hands-on, Career and Technical Education event held March 8 hosted more than 60 Houston-based companies from a variety of industries.

Energy, engineering, construction, cosmetology, retail and other high-growth businesses spent Saturday demonstrating how their industries operate and why theirs holds promise for future HISD graduates.

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Many HISD school Career and Technical Education departments showcased their programs by participating in friendly competitions and performances. Furr High School’s building trades teacher Trevor Moore led an outdoor bench-making competition with students from his construction technology program, with materials donated by The Home Depot.

“This is the second year we participated, and the kids love it,” Moore said. “We built a dog house last year that looked like Snoopy’s house. At first, the kids thought I was talking about Snoop Dog’s house, but they eventually got it, and in the end people loved the Snoopy House.”

Just after noon, several HISD high school students joined forces for a flash mob to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” Visitors and HISD staff joined, too. Several schools performed during the day while families circled the exhibits and activities Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center parking lot.

“The goal of the event is to expose student to the wide variety of careers in our region that they may not typically think or know about,” said Mike Webster, director of School Support Services for HISD.

The expo meshes with HISD’s model of teaching career and college readiness pre-K through high school, known as Linked Learning, as well as a focus on blending academics and career preparation required by new state guidelines under House Bill 5.

For more information about HISD’s Career and Technical Education Department, visit www.houstonisd.org/cte.