DENVILLE, NJ – Students and faculty of the Morris County Vocational School District (MCVSD) joined others across the nation this month to celebrate national Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month®. This year’s tagline is Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow!
CTE Month® is a public awareness campaign that takes place each February to celebrate the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country.
One of the special activities students from multi academies participated in most recently was an event called, "Exploring the Road to Drug Discovery with Pfizer" and included an industry panel discussion with representatives from a variety of departments at Pfizer.
Students from four MCVSD Academies (Animal Science; Biotechnology; Healthcare Science; and Math, Science and Engineering) came together to learn about the process of drug discovery: the steps, the setbacks and the investment of time and money. This half-day event led by representatives from Pfizer provided students the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities with a boardgame simulation, presentations and breakout sessions focusing on specific topics.
Kim Froeschl, CM Training Specialist for Pfizer presented a 3D Drug Discovery Game, which exposed students to different career pathways within the pharmaceutical industry. “The time we spent with the MCVSD Academy students and staff was engaging, enlightening and inspiring," said Ms. Froeschl. “I, along with my Pfizer colleagues, truly enjoyed interacting with the students, giving them a peek into all the jobs and careers involved with getting a new medicine from the lab to the patient. Our goal is to help inspire the next generation of leaders in life sciences industries.”
“Each time we do an outreach into the community, our Pfizer colleagues benefit as well. These events bring together Pfizer colleagues that do not interact daily, and we learn from each other and learn from the students. We are looking forward to increasing our connections with MCVSD Academies.”
“This was a wonderful opportunity for students to have discussions with Pfizer representatives around topics such as ethical aspects of drug discovery, role of biotechnology in drug discovery and career pathways in the life sciences,” said Kerry Eberhardt, director of programs at MCVSD. “Business and industry partnerships such as this are essential to quality CTE. It makes learning relevant, exposes students to opportunities for authentic learning, and connects students with the latest technology and skills that will prepare them to become successful employees and future leaders.”
CTE encompasses 94 percent of high school students and 13 million postsecondary students in the United States and includes high schools, career centers, community and technical colleges, four-year universities and more. CTE is a major part of the solution to myriad national economic and workforce problems, such as high school dropout rates, a weakened economy, global competitiveness and massive layoffs. At a time when opportunity for employment is so critical, CTE programs in every community are ensuring students are equipped with the skills to successfully enter the workforce.
The Morris County Vocational School District (www.mcvts.org) offers programs for Morris County high school students, including Career Academies, Share Time Programs, and Continuing Adult Education programs. For additional information, call the Morris County School of Technology at (973) 627-4600 ext. 277.
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