Over 1,000 Bernheim, Bullitt Lick, Eastside, Hebron, Mt. Washington and Zoneton Middle School students participated in Junior Achievement Inspire.
Carrying workbooks into the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center, students chose among 70 vendors whom to interview. The required interaction drew a stamp from officials.
Staff seemed as impressed with the event as students.
“I have seen great talks between students and businesses,” said District Director of College and Career Readiness Lee Barger. “There is a genuine interest being demonstrated by students.”
Many exhibits were interactive such as WDRB’s green screen which allowed students to appear as if giving a weather forecast on air.
The AmeriHeart sponsored by Kentucky One Health was a huge inflatable of the human heart that allows visitors to pass through.
Paradise Foods allowed students adorn aprons and hairnets in taking small vials of tomato paste to mix with water and create tomato sauce.
Some students were put off by the scent. “Ooooh, smell this,” a youth remarked handing tomato paste to her friend who had the same reaction.
“But it’s just the base for the sauce which you like on pasta,” responded a vendor employee. “The key is blending in the right amount of water.”
Mt. Washington Middle School Principal Shawn Pickett strolled past two of his students completing their workbook on a trash can top serving as a makeshift table.
“You guys getting a lot out of this?” Pickett asked.
“Yes…there is a lot to see but not much time to visit everything.” both smiled.
Hebron Middle School Principal Kelland Garland was impressed with JA’s organization. Within five minutes of entering the facility, students viewed a video, sped through a line grabbing a bag then proceeded into the vast vendor area.
“There is no downtime,” he said.
Several Bernheim Middle School students found themselves at the Class Act Federal Credit Union booth which featured games such as Plinko and Catch the Money as dollars swirled in an air-fueled plastic container.
A group of Zoneton Middle School students gathered in front of a fire truck. One asked if the job paid well.
“You get out of it what you put in,” was the fire fighter’s response.
Louisville Dept. of Corrections showcased its vehicles used to transport inmates.
An Eastside Middle School student was heard saying he definitely does not want to ride in the truck officially.
Debra Hoffer, President of Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana, said JA Inspire is designed to make students think.
“Our hope is that students will be inspired and motivated to work harder in school because they’ll make the connection between the studies they do in the classroom and the careers available in their future,” she said.