News / Economy

High School Students Cook Up Career Skills

High School Students Cook Up Career Skills i
X
May 08, 2013 3:59 PM
While many high school students plan to go to college to study medicine, law or engineering, other students want to pursue careers in culinary arts, construction or auto repair. For those students, courses at a specialized high school may help them get started. Faiza Elmasry visited Thomas Edison High School of Technology in the Washington suburbs where students gain hands-on experience so they can decide whether to pursue such careers or not. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Faiza Elmasry

More than a dozen students from several local high schools come to Thomas Edison High School of Technology in northern Virginia once a day to take a class in culinary arts.

"I just like cooking. I like trying new things," said high school senior Matthew Wimmer, who dreams of becoming a chef. "My grandma and my mom they’re both very big in cooking. After my grandma passed away, it sort of inspired me more to become a better cook, a better chef overall."

Student Kiana Wilkerson loves this program, especially its approach of learning by doing. 

"When I first came in here, I didn’t really know different cooking methods like sautéing," she said.

Her fellow classmate, Lupita Rivera, who wants to become a pastry chef, savors the chance to work in a large, restaurant-style kitchen.

"No other high schools have this," Rivera said. "They give me hands-on stuff, like you can do everything, you can learn more easily."

Their teacher, Chef Teresa Smith, encourages experimentation.

"We try to do as much as we can from scratch. I also want them to have good basic skills including kitchen math, converting recipes from smaller quantities to larger quantities," she said. "I want them to have a sense of cooking methods. So if you have a piece of meat or a piece of fish, instead of memorizing recipes, what’s the best way to utilize that piece of meat or fish? I want them to have good knife skills. We also stress safety and sanitation."

Restaurant management is just one of 18 specialized programs offered at Thomas Edison High School.

"We have a carpentry class, a masonry class, an electricity class, heating, ventilation and air conditioning class, plumbing," said Karen Wilson, the school's community outreach coordinator. "We have automotive technologies. We have auto body repair. We have our printing and graphics class. We have our interior design class. "

There's also a medical career class which teaches students the skills they'll need to pass the certified nursing assistant exam.

In the construction program, students build a house every year.

And in cosmetology, they learn about hair and skin care.

"It’s a very rigorous program," Wilson said. "The students learn about chemistry, anatomy and physiology. And work with real life clients."

Back in the kitchen, Garrett Paseur and his fellow students have finished their latest assignment.

"Today we prepared five different salads," Paseur said. "I made pasta gazpacho salad which is a pasta salad with gazpacho, which is a cool tomato soup with olive, onions, tomatoes, peppers, salt and pepper, lemon and white wine vinegar."

Before leaving for the day, the students taste and evaluate each other’s recipes.

"You can learn different things about what you should have done differently,"  Paseur said. "For example, my dish, a lot of other kids were saying that I should add a little more vinegar. So, next time, I’ll know that. So every day is a learning experience in itself."

That’s how students gain real skills that will allow them to move closer to the careers they'll pursue after their high school careers come to an end.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7866
JPY
USD
109.25
GBP
USD
0.6139
CAD
USD
1.1120
INR
USD
61.428

Rates may not be current.