PCS students learn about careers in hands-on way

PELHAM – As students made their way to the parking lot of Pelham Oaks Elementary School on Friday, April 5, their eyes lit up as they pointed and squealed in excitement. Their enthusiasm couldn’t be contained as they explored various career paths at the school’s Careers on Wheels event.

Pelham’s police and fire departments attended the event to expose students to careers that use trucks and cars in their daily work. Pelham City Schools career coach Katie Cardwell said the event was created to educate kids about what jobs are out there.

“They’re so young right now so we really just wanted to make it fun and get them excited about the different career possibilities,” she said. “They got to ask questions and see what the inside of these vehicles look like. It was the highlight of their day.”

Cardwell said it can be difficult to make learning about careers interesting and exciting for younger kids, so when another career coach shared the Careers on Wheels idea with her, she was all for it.

Cardwell said having actual vehicles that students can touch and see is a lot more impactful and memorable than a lesson in the classroom.

The PFD brought their ladder truck to the event and extended the ladder to show students how it works. A firefighter even climbed up the ladder and all of the doors on the firetruck were opened so students could get an up-close look.

“They were able to get inside of the police car and talk on the speaker phone,” Cardwell said. “They also let them turn on the lights and the sirens.”

Cardwell said the PPD let students explore their emergency response truck that is used for large scale emergencies.

Careers on Wheels will take place at Pelham Ridge on May 1. This year marked the school system’s second year hosting the event. Next year, Cardwell said she hopes to combine the schools to make Careers on Wheels one big event.

“I just want to say thank you the police and fire departments and to all of our community partners for all of their help,” Cardwell said. “These types of events would not be possible without their support.”