Tech expo allows students to interact with professionals

"Andrew King missed the school bus to Vancouver’s inaugural Digital Technology Expo on Thursday morning because he had to take a test. But the Fort Vancouver High School student was determined to make it to the expo’s education preview so he could meet potential employers and learn what education and skills he’ll need for a future job.

He finished his test in 30 minutes and Principal Scott Parker drove him to the Hilton Vancouver Washington. They arrived a few minutes late, but Andrew, 16, headed for the expo floor. There he joined about 600 other high school students from the Vancouver, Evergreen, Camas, Hockinson and Battle Ground school districts for an opportunity to ask questions of professionals working in technology fields.

The education preview was the first part of the expo, which was organized by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce with the help of dozens of local technology professionals.

The expo’s dual purpose was to offer information about digital technology to local businesses and to introduce local students to opportunities in technology fields.

Southwest Washington STEM Network was integral in contacting area high schools about the opportunity to connect with Southwest Washington technology professionals.

Andrew was ready to make those connections. Chad Young, Andrew’s video production teacher at Fort Vancouver, greeted Andrew on the expo floor and said he was glad he finished his test quickly and made it to the event.

“He’s one of my sharpest students,” said Young. “He was the only Fort sophomore invited to attend this event.”

His fellow Trappers were juniors or seniors, Young said. His classes next school year will include Mandarin, Advanced Placement U.S. history and careers and education.

“If I can get good grades, then colleges will look at me,” Andrew said..."