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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9115
JPY
USD
123.92
GBP
USD
0.6554
CAD
USD
1.2443
INR
USD
63.800

Rates may not be current.