News / Economy

High School Students Cook Up Career Skills

High School Students Cook Up Career Skills i
X
May 08, 2013
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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.