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Worcester Technical High School open house

By Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer

(Feb. 8, 2018) Worcester Technical High School will host its fourth annual open house on Saturday to introduce potential students, their families and the community to 29 programs in addition to a SkillsUSA competition, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the campus in Newark, Maryland.

“It is a great day for potential kids to come and see what we do here,” said Rick Stevens, a teacher and SkillsUSA advisor. “Many people don’t know we are here and are amazed at the different programs offered. It is great for eighth graders to see how everything works. We use this event as a recruiting tool for families and kids. The public is also invited.”

About 130 students will compete in 35 different trades during the SkillsUSA competition, which include cosmetology, nursing, welding, engineering, carpentry, HVAC and automotive. There will also be culinary contests for baking and pastry making.

“There will be three welding contests,” Stevens said. “One where they have to make a sculpture out of metal. Under engineering, there will be a robotics contest and capstone projects.

“We have four teams with 20 kids so far competing in a skills contest where they have to buzz in and answer questions about math and current events,” Stevens added. “It gives these kids a chance to practice before they compete at the state level in April.”

Worcester County School board members, central office employees and community members involved in trades will judge the contests.

“SkillsUSA is a great program,” Stevens said. “Board of Education members, administrators, teachers, staff and custodians support us. Two years ago, we had a custodian train a student in building maintenance cleaning who came in second place in the nation. It is an entire school effort and great for the kids.”

Last year, a crime scene investigation team placed first in the state and sixth in the nation. In addition, a STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] middle school team took the trip to states and earned first place during an engineering challenge, Stevens said.

“For the past 30 consecutive years, at least one state officer has represented Worcester County,” Stevens said. “SkillsUSA has helped kids improve. We took 22 kids to nationals last year and 15 of them placed in the top 10 of the entire country. Our competition on Saturday will prepare them for the state contest.”

Tours of the Worcester Tech campus will be taking place every hour and about a dozen booths with activities and games will be set up and include cosmetology students painting nails and nursing students taking blood pressure.

“Each program of study will have an activity or game,” said Caroline Bloxom, principal of Worcester Technical High School. “Not only can you tour our building and watch a SkillsUSA contest, you can also participate in some activities.”

In addition to a tour of the campus, activity booths and viewing a SkillsUSA competition, there will be a silent auction, food and beverages available for purchase and local vendors in attendance including representatives from local colleges and a welding company.

“What better way to show potential students what we are all about then the SkillsUSA competition on Saturday where students are using the skills they’ve learned in the program to compete,” Bloxom said.

The scheduling process at Worcester Technical High School takes place this month and the deadline to complete an online application for next school year is Feb. 16.

“We serve 40 percent of high school students in the county for a program of study,” Bloxom said. “Many kids come out of programs here with a license or certification that can help them with their career.”

For more information, visit worcestertechhs.com or call 410-632-5050.