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More than 700 middle school students from the Oshkosh Area School District will be on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus May 15-17 as part of a career-exploration program.

Each middle school student who visits the UW Oshkosh campus will participate in two faculty-led, hands-on activities. Activities fall under the areas of music, biology, medical technology, kinesiology, IT, geography and more–and are led by UW Oshkosh professors and instructors.

“The activities are designed to allow students to explore careers that may be new to them and to learn about the spectrum of educational pathways,” said Samara Hamzé, UW Oshkosh STEM Outreach director.

The visits, which also offers the middle school students a campus tour, a peek into a residence hall and lunch at Blackhawk Commons, is a collaboration among STEM Outreach, the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of Online and Continuing Education and UWO faculty.

“We understand the importance of bringing these opportunities to our students and helping them explore all of their options and discover their career interests and the educational path that is best for them,” said Kay Weber, instructional support teacher at Merrill Middle School. 

Touring UW Oshkosh is a phenomenal experience for our students, and I am so excited that this year all seventh graders in the district will be participating. Not only is it an incredible learning experience, but it is also truly a life-changing opportunity for some students,” Weber said. “For the first time in their lives, they not only start to think about college but they come to understand that it is, in fact, possible for them. These tours show them that there are options and there are supports in place to help.”

Other Oshkosh Area School District educators agree.

It’s all about helping our students not only see their options, but start to plan for their future,” said Tom Anfinson, instructional support teacher at South Park and Webster Stanley middle schools. “I think it is extremely beneficial for our middle school students to be exposed to post-secondary options early, in order to help guide their educational journey.”

“I also think it puts into perspective some of the things they’ll hear next year at the career fair and when they go to visit area businesses. The more we can help them make these types of connections, the better,” Anfinson added.