Jump-start career opportunitySubmitted: 03/08/2014

Karolina Buczek

WAUSAU - Some kids made sparks fly at Northcentral Technical College Saturday.

75 Kids participated in the Get S.M.A.R.T program.

It gave them hands on experience in welding, machine tool, graphics, electronics and other trades.

"We got students that are late elementary and they're just getting exposed for the first time. And then we've got those seventh and eighth graders that have really been able to apply what they've learned in some of their tech ed courses at school," said Dan Nowak, the Dean of K-12 Programs at NTC.

Teachers and Northcentral Tech students showed kids how to operate the machines.

It was the first time many of students got to learn about these trades.

"A lot of these schools, they don't have this type of equipment where they get to experience. And when they come out to the tech that gives them a feel of "wow, this is cool, this is something that I might want to do. You know, I never got that experience until I was later in high school," said Alison Williams, a welding student.

Kids got to weld their initials, smiley faces and they even made grasshoppers to take home.

"We just took a piece of circular metal and then we used the welder and made two dots, some weird nose and then a line for the mouth," said Asa Rich, a Get S.M.A.R.T. participant.

This was the fifth year the school held the Get S.M.A.R.T program.

But this year, kids had more options to choose from.

"We introduced graphics this year. And we're also introducing health components as well," said Nowak.

An opportunity for kids to get a jump start on their careers.

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