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Work like play, Jackson County kids were gay all day


By RJ Walters / For the Jackson Citizen Patriot

Nine-year-old Elaina Evilsizer has ruled out a radio broadcasting career, and 11-year-old Bradley Pangborn thinks he has the skills it took to make a living centuries ago.

The Jackson County students were two of hundreds learning about academics, career choices, history and more at the two-day Learning Fair at the Jackson Area Career Center.

Elaina tried her hand at a radio weathercast at the Family Life Radio tent and soon realized there is more to it than meets the ear.

“There were a lot of people around and it was loud, so it was kind of hard,” she said.

After listening to her recording, complete with background music and a final sign-off, she knew she wasn’t cut out to work behind a microphone.

“I sounded like my cousin,” she joked. “And that’s not a good thing because he’s a boy.”

William Farrant, a computer systems technology instructor with the Jackson County Intermediate School District, was showing off a different type of technology — letting students control a robot that was built by high school students in the ISD’s robotics club.

Farrant’s tent was especially popular with male students, and he said it is the perfect educational tool to show the end result of a lot of math and science work.

“It is putting theory into practice, and the feedback is immediate and kids can realize how something is built, how it is programmed and why it matters,” he said.

Not all youngsters were focused on the future though.

Bradley was spending much of his day working on a bow lathe, a basic woodworking instrument used as far back as 300 B.C. in Egypt.

His grandfather, Vic Reed, was by his side, showcasing the lathe and other centuries-old tools. Both were impressed at how much progress Bradley had made at shaping wood with the old instrument.

“It’s difficult trying to figure it out … but I’ve mastered it,” Bradley said. “It’s hard to go back through cleaning it up though.”

If you go …
 What: Learning Fair
Where: Jackson Area Career Center, 6800 Browns Lake Road
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today
Today at a glance: Potter Park Zoo show, Home Depot building workshops, Jaws of Life presentation
Online: www.learningfair.org

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About rjwalters

I am what you think I am — a journalist. Actually when I was hired at my current job, which by the way is Sports Editor of the Hillsdale Daily News in Hillsdale, Mich., I applied for a position titled "Wordsmith", so at my best I'll call myself a writer attempting to be a wordsmith extraordinaire.

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