CTEC: New addition to the district has had positive reactions

CTEC: New addition to the district has had positive reactions

Emma Hellerich, Feature Editor

Everyone has heard about the new addition to the USD 232 district, Cedar Trails Exploration Center (CTEC), but what about the thoughts and opinions of the students who take classes in the building? 

CTEC opened up at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, and is now in full swing. De Soto and Mill Valley High School students have been driving or taking a bus every day to attend those classes.

DHS junior Olivia Dondzilla likes the new edition to the district.

“I enjoy getting the opportunity to work on things I really care about,” Dondzila said. 

Dondzila, who is enrolled in Principles of Illustration and Emerging Technologies, can focus more on her career path than other classes.

“CTEC offers a more in-depth workplace for specific things you want to do in a future career. It’s a lot more specific to things I’m interested in like graphic design,” Dondzila said. “At CTEC, working with Mr. Mispagel, I was able to design and print “Pink Out” t-shirts for the whole dance team.”

These new courses give students a better understanding of future career paths and students are also able to practice those skills.

Not only does CTEC help with creative design programs, but it also allows students to explore science fields. For senior Grace Wright, CTEC gave her the perfect opportunity to apply for biochemistry and biotechnical engineering.

“There’s [at CTEC] a lot of high-tech equipment which creates more hands-on opportunities,” Wright said.

This also applies to junior Sam Lindey’s case, who is currently taking robotics and digital electronics which requires hands-on activities.

“Something CTEC offers that De Soto doesn’t is the ability to have larger classrooms and labs so that the students can have more hands-on experience to get them ready for their specific career,” Lindsey said. 

As CTEC focuses on career readiness it also gives students a good idea of what a specific profession is like and if it is a good fit for them. 

Lindsey also says that CTEC gives a different perspective on the professions CTEC offers.

“CTEC gives the student the experience of working with and alongside people before they hit the job market,” Lindsey said.

According to Wright, CTEC really focuses on the skills that are needed for that job and builds a foundation. 

“Biotechnical engineering is a skills-based class, so we learn a lot of skills needed for that specific career and careers related to it,” Wright said. 

If given the opportunity to take classes at CTEC again, Dondzila would.

“Yes, I would definitely recommend taking classes there. It’s such a nice change in scenery and really lets you zoom in and learn about things you are actually interested in,” Dondzila said.