Summer camp helps launch Franklin P-TECH program
(FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL -- July 21, 2021) — Using the tune of the Bee Gee's hit song “Staying’ Alive,” students participating in the hands-on CPR lesson at the Franklin Pathway Technology (P-TECH) Early College High School program summer bridge camp were able to rhythmically practice the life-saving technique on plastic dummies.
The camp, which ended last week, was the unofficial kick-off to the Franklin Medical Sciences P-TECH, a national program, which has helped students everywhere earn an associate’s degree certification diplomas as they complete their graduation requirements.
EPISD is launching three other P-TECH programs this fall: El Paso High Computer Science P-TECH, Coronado High Business P-TECH and Jefferson High Medical Science P-TECH.
At Franklin, students got a glimpse of what the innovative program will look like during the summer bridge camp. Senior Unique Barrios, who has been involved in the medical magnet program at Franklin for years, said she was excited to share with younger students her passion for healthcare.
“I want to help educate the incoming freshman and grow their passion for the medical field,” Barrios said. “My role has also helped to welcome them to campus and give them advice, like to be unafraid of speaking up and taking action.”
At its core, P-TECH aims to help students build strong foundations on important professional fields during their high-school instruction while at the same time earning college credit and professional certifications that can help kick-start their careers early.
Magnet Facilitator Sarah Powers is excited about the hands-on component of P-TECH that will be come when school starts on Aug. 2.
“Our goal is to provide students with basic insights into the fields of medicine and engineering,” Powers said. “The four-day camp is helping them become comfortable with the material but also with interacting with their peers. They are learning from one another and will be for the next four years.”
The collaboration with like-minded peers is what incoming freshman Tessa Gibbons enjoyed from the four-day camp.
“The atmosphere is super fun and all of us are techy people, so we get along well,” Gibbons said. “Technology is everywhere, the way it interacts and does so much for us is so fascinating to me.”
Incoming freshman Emanuel Rosales is interested to see where P-TECH will lead him in the future.
“I’m passionate about the medical field,” Rosales said. “I haven’t decided what I want to do in the medical field, but I hope that my time with P-TECHS will help me find out. So far, we have learned how to count vitals, use EpiPens, and correctly use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As long as I’m learning new things, I'm happy.”
Health Science teacher and Registered nurse Katherine Thummel shares Rosales’ passion for all things medical.
“I enjoy passing on my knowledge of the medical field to the youth,” Thummel said. “What I appreciate about P-TECH is that it makes sure that students won’t have to start from the bottom when they graduate. They will have the knowledge and resources to compete when they start seeking jobs.”
EPISD is in the planning stages to launch five more P-TECH programs in the 2022-23 school year, and recruiting for those will start during this academic year. Those programs are: Bowie High Teaching P-TECH, Andress High Teaching P-TECH, Irvin High Medical Sciences P-TECH, Austin High Computer Science P-TECH and Chapin High Computer Science P-TECH.
For more information on P-TECH and all other EPISD High School Options, visit: www.episd.org/highschoolprograms.
Photos by Leonel Monroy