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Fun and Free: EXCITE Explores High-Tech Career Options

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Interested in the fields of science and technology, but figure they’re "too difficult" for you? Exploring Careers In Science and Technology (EXCITE) is a new, tuition-free, career exploration course at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus on Thursday evenings starting Sept. 25.

EXCITE allows students to explore three exciting career areas — microelectronics, biotechnology and environmental science — in a fun, hands-on format. Students experience what happens in a biotechnology lab, or can discover how photo-lithography and etching are used in a microelectronics environment.

"It’s an easy way to explore the match between personal goals and skills, job opportunities and the expanding careers in science and technology," says Pam Waring, a career development specialist at Rock Creek.

Sharon Hettma, a winter term student in EXCITE says, "It was a great experience, especially the hands-on part. We tested water samples from the upstream and downstream portions of a water treatment plant to compare nitrate and phosphate levels and even tested simulated blood samples for DNA patterns. This course renewed my interest in completing my bachelor’s degree in environmental science at Portland State University."

Chris Curington, a spring term student, appreciated the chance to explore the two-year microelectronics program. "We got a real feel about working in a fab work environment. The course allowed us to do everything from putting on a bunny suit to research wages and job security. Since completing the course, I’ve decided to enroll in the program."

EXCITE is being offered from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday evenings at the Rock Creek campus, 17705 N.W. Springville Road, for the fall term. Assistance is available for low-income students thanks to support from the Intel Foundation. The fall class still has openings. For more information contact Paul Halloran at 614-7438.

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