The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 30, 2014

Lessons show results

The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE – About 150 high school students from across Danville Area Community College’s district who are enrolled in College Express showed off Tuesday what they’ve worked on this year.

DACC and Vermilion Vocational Delivery System (VVEDS) presented the College Express exhibition inside the Bremer Conference and Workforce Development Center. This was the fifth year for the exhibit.

The exhibit items were created by students in College Express’ computer networking, computer programming, criminal justice, culinary arts, early childhood development, electronics, graphic design, auto body/auto mechanics and welding programs.

The event showcased the students’ work, either as individual or as group projects. The students who participated in the exhibition represented Armstrong Township, Bismarck-Henning, Catlin, Danville, Georgetown-Ridge Farm, Hoopeston Area, Jamaica, Milford, Oakwood and Westville high schools and Schlarman Academy.

“It shows what they’ve done throughout the year,” said Jona Bennett, who is in charge of special populations and student services.

In the lobby of the Bremer Center, College Express students lined up to sample the loaded nacho chips and homemade chocolate chip cookies, mini chocolate cupcakes and mini carrot cake cupcakes the culinary arts students made.

Westville High School student Dava Geltz served up the mini cupcakes with a smile.

“I love it,” she said of the program. “I love to cook and I’ve learned new things.”

Fellow culinary arts student Zaina Johnson of Hoopeston Area High School agreed that the program has been a good learning experience.

“I like it,” she said. “It’s taught me a lot about sanitation and cooking, but I like to bake the sweet stuff.”

Inside the Bremer Theatre, Hoopeston Area High School student Shelby Mayberry was trying to get some gooey “gak” off her hands. Shelby likened the “gak” to Silly Putty.

Also at the early childhood development table were plastic sandwich bags containing a colorful substance labeled “Rainbow Stew.”

“It’s sugar, corn starch and water,” explained Hoopeston Area High School student Jenna Lane.

Shelby added, “Then you cook it and then you add food coloring in afterwards.”

Jenna said the items on the table were “toys we made for a children’s cancer hospital in St. Louis.”

After the exhibit they would be packed up and shipped to the hospital.

Bismarck-Henning High School student Alanis Wallace was the only girl in the College Express electronics class, but she didn’t mind. She learned to make a flashlight from LEDs, resistors, a capacitor, a rectifier and two neodymium magnets.

“You shake it and it lights up,” she explained. “It took me two months to make.

“I liked making it. It was really fun,” she said of the flashlight. “I want to be an electrician when I’m older.”

The College Express graphic design students had plenty to show off.

Westville High School student Telito Karuzis proudly held up a Monsters, Inc., T-shirt he made.

“I just learned it this year,” he said of designing the image of a galaxy-like background with a monster in the foreground that was screen printed on the shirt.

“I had to think about it. It takes time,” he said. “You do it (design work) in a computer program. It took at least a week and a half. I had to make the stars, too.”

At another graphic design table, Westville students Rachel Tison, Elisabeth Carson and Kodi Ellis displayed the water bottle labels, can labels and CD covers they designed.

Rachel admitted there is no such thing as pancakes in a can, but she designed the striped pancake can label because “I like stripes and I like pancakes.”

Kodi said the College Express experience cemented his plans to major in graphic design in college.

College Express is the career and technical dual-credit program for area high school juniors and seniors.

More than 400 area high school students travel daily to the DACC campus for instruction in one of 15 career programs. The students receive both high school and college credit for the courses.

Most students who enter the program as a junior will graduate from high school with at least 12 college credit hours earned. The classes, books and fees are free to the students, but their home high school districts pay reduced tuition and fees for each student enrolled in the program.

In most cases, transportation to the college also is provided by the school district.