Monday, October 31, 2011


You've thought about where to find a safe haven if a Zombie Apocalypse were to happen...right? Well, just in case it's slipped your mind, students in Laura Estabrooks' Geospatial Technology classes have you covered!  And even better, if you happen to actually be a Zombie, her class can also show you the best areas to attack.  It's a win-win for everyone!

If you're a bit confused, take a look at the map below.

What you're seeing is the end result of geospatial technology, a relatively modern use of accumulated data.  It's  the process of gathering information and placing it on the Earth's surface with the intent to make qualified decisions, like where the best place to build a new neighborhood sits or where there may be a need for a new fire station.

After designating the Zombie Apocalypse as the platform--if you haven't heard, zombies are a big deal these days in the teen scene, just check out MTV--students divided into two groups, committed to either finding safe places for victims of the Zombies or identifying prime places for Zombies to attack.  Students developed criteria for both sides.  Did you know zombies can't swim? As CACC junior Shelby Richardson exclaimed, "Oh, absolutely not.  If you're near water, you're good."  Or that they are not so great at climbing?  They also used their common sense, like where can you easily find arms to defend yourself against a zombie, and where military bases are located for protection.

Each student was assigned a criterion, developed a database of applicable coordinates, and then used geospatial technology to plot the information on the map.  For some, the process was a simple task, but for others, it was tough to compile the data. CACC junior Andrew Bare compiled the list of arms retailers throughout the state.  "It was tough to find all of the pawn shops, Wal-Marts, Bass Pros, and others," he noted with a smile, "but now we know where to run if the zombies come after us."

CACC Senior Brandon Braumstedt
CACC Sophomore Blake Hausman

"This was a great way for the students to really get energized and engaged about geospatial technology," said Estabrooks, "Now that they've learned how to use the equipment and technology with this project, we can really do some cool things this year."

An upcoming project Estabrooks has planned includes analyzing data from the Black Bear Project funded by the University of Mississippi.

Check back later for an update and more geospatial technology!

Pesticides, Anyone?

Ever wonder how that RoundUp spray you use on those pesky weeds could effect other things in your yard?  Come mid-March, CACC students Michael Pisano and Micah Fletcher plan to have definitive answers for you--albeit in two very different studies.

Pisano, a Rock Bridge senior, will focus on how the BT toxin effects worms and Micah, also a Rock Bridge senior, will be looking at how common herbicides effect spiders.  Both are in the preliminary stages of their experiments, with Pisano waiting to use harvested corn from Mizzou's Bradford Farms and Fletcher continuing to collect the correct species of arachnid.
Michael Pisano (L) and Micah Fletcher (R) work in the CACC Science Lab
The young men are both enrolled in Christine Roberson's 21st Century Life Science course where they have access to labs, equipment, and resources that will facilitate the experiments.  Pisano and Fletcher say that CACC has played an influential role in giving them the opportunities to explore their scientific interests.  "I've taken three science and lab classes at the Career Center," Pisano said. "It's given me the experience I need to be successful."  Fletcher agrees, "The lab has been a big asset. Our experiments hinge on having it available to us."

Pisano and Fletcher will present their experiments at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in St. Louis next March.  We'll update you on their progress throughout the year!

You can also check out the Columbia Missourian article on Pisano and Fletcher here!

DECA Students Elected to State Office

Great news from the 2011 Missouri DECA Fall Leadership and Officer Election Conference at the Lodge of Four Seasons at Lake Ozark!  Two Business Management and Ownership students won state offices--Michael Richardson as president and Sam Wright as secretary. Traditionally, larger districts dominate the elections, and with Columbia being the smallest in the state, DECA sponsor Scott Fuenfhausen called the double win a "monumental achievement."

2011-2012 DECA State Officers.  Hickman and CACC seniors Sam
Wright on the far left and Michael Richardson on the far right.
The two Hickman seniors ran against a total of 24 other state officer candidates for the honor of heading up the DECA State Action Team for the 2011-2012 school year. They had to perform at high levels in three areas: Marketing/DECA Examination, Screening & Nomination Committee interviews and a general election comprised of more than 500 student voting delegates from DECA chapters in Missouri.  As the first Hickman officers in over ten years, it is quite the accomplishment!     

Find out more about DECA and career education here!

EMT Program Ribbon-Cutting

A host of community leaders, school officials, and students were on hand Wednesday, October 26 to join in the ribbon cutting for Columbia Area Career Center's new Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Program for high school students.  Heading the program is Mr. Dean Martin, a 20+-year veteran of Columbia's fire, police and ambulance forces.  After an introduction  by CACC director Linda Rawlings, superintendent of Columbia Public Schools Chris Belcher complimented the Career Center's focus on building community relationships while preparing students to reach their future career goals.  The EMT program prepares seniors to sit for their EMT Registry exam which will allow them to continue schooling in the medical field or find viable employment directly after graduating high school. 

In true CACC fashion, multiple areas of study contributed to the event.  Students in broadcast journalism taped the ribbon cutting to be used in a future episode of CPS 360, culinary students prepared the refreshments served, and Muhammud Al-Rawi, CACC's FIRST Robotics member, photographed the event.  

FFA Brings Home Awards at National Conference

It's a long road to Indianapolis, but CACC agriculture instructors Larry Hennkee, Chuck Miller, and Kevin Duncan say it's well worth the bus drive along I-70 to take their students to the National FFA Convention every year. The 2011 delegation included the three instructors and forty of their students, all earning the right to participate by either being on a competition team or by raising enough resources to join the trip.  Of the twelve traveling to compete, CACC agriculture students placed in four categories.
Agricultural Mechanics award winners (L-R) Drew Wulff, Tory Chasteen, & Lucas Boland
The teams were as follows: Dairy Cattle Judging, 6th place out of 43 teams--team members are Ben Carpenter, J.T. Denbigh, Alan Perry, and Jessica Vaughn.  All were Gold level individuals in the contest, with J.T. winning the Holstein division; Natural Resources, 2nd place out of 42 teams--team members are Sarah Darr ($1,000 scholarship) and Cooper Martin ($1,000 scholarship), Kelly Wilsdorf, and Thomas Pekkala, all Gold rated individuals; Nursery/Landscape, 10th place out of 42 teams--team members are Brandon Gerardy, Courtney Johnson, John Marshall, and Nick Sublette, all Gold rated individuals; and Agricultural Mechanics, 3rd place out of 46 teams.  Team members, (all Gold rated) are Lucas Boland, Tory Chasteen, Corey Rueter ($1,000 scholarship), and Drew Wulff.
Instructor Larry Henneke conferences with students before competition.
Junior Sarah Darr, a student in urban conservation, helped her team to the second place finish in Natural Resources.  She said her CACC class, along with countless hours of preparation, helped the team do well in competition.   "We study it all: water quality and aquatics, soils, wildlife, forestry...all of it puts us a step ahead of other teams."
While some were competing, others listened to guest speakers, participated in workshops, and mingled with over 55,000 FFA students from across the nation.  "There's a real camaraderie among the Aggies," Henneke noted of the convention, "The kids are able to see that, no matter where you go in this country, agriculture is still a vital part of life."
FFA Seniors (L-R) Katie Dirks, Brooke Eaton, and Taulor Bunch 
Even though the students went to compete and learn, both Darr and fellow junior FFA member Kelly Wilsdorf say their favorite part of the trip was spending the week with their team members.  "Our team dynamic works so well together, inside and outside of the competition," Wilsdorf said.  "It was so much fun being together--the bus ride, the restaurants, the hotel.  It's a memory of high school that I'll never forget."
Duncan echoed Wilsdorf's sentiment.  "We go to Indianapolis to give them the chance to compete and bring home a whole new appreciation of the agricultural community, and we're lucky enough to have kids that will build relationships that will stay with them for the rest of their lives."

Join Us for an Evening with a NASA Astronaut

If you've ever wondered how astronauts drink coffee in space, shower or perform other mundane activities in zero gravity, then you'll definitely want to share dinner and an evening with NASA astronaut, Dr. Sandra Magnus.

Magnus was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1996 and flew her first mission in 2002.  In an interview about her missions, Magnus said, "Atlantis was the first one I ever flew on, and now it will be my last mission as well.  So it holds a special place in my heart."

Join us for "Tales from Space: Inspiring the Next Generation of Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math."  Proceeds will benefit the Boone County K-12 FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Lego League Participation.

The program will be on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at the Hampton Inn & Suites at the University from 6:30-8:30 pm.  Cost is $30 per person.  Click here for tickets!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Double Up and Get Two for One!

Dual Credit students get a head start on the future by earning both college credit and high school credit for classes they take at the career center. During the most recent school year 252 students earned 900 semester hours of college credit for completing career center courses.

This is possible when the curriculum and the competencies mastered in a career center class are equivalent to those required in a particular college-level class as identified by the college or university.  Eligible students then receive both high school credit and college credit upon successful course completion.

Final grades are reflected on both the student’s high school and college transcripts. The college credit is transcripted for the student by the university whether or not the student attends that institution after high school graduation.  And the credit is transferable to other colleges and universities in Missouri and throughout the nation, if the student so chooses. As an added bonus, college tuition for dual credit courses is usually less than half the cost of attending the course on the university campus.

Currently 32 career center courses are approved for dual college credit by our partnering colleges and universities which include Central Methodist University, Linn State Technical College, Missouri State University, Moberly Area Community College, University of Central Missouri and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  Stephens College will be joining our dual credit partnerships in the spring.

For more information, visit our website.