A new career and technical event Thursday aims to expose students to little-known career options, said Janet O'Hara, director of the Red River Valley Education Cooperative.

Hundreds of students through the region will attend the Explore North Valley Career and Technical and Education event in Grafton, which is sponsored by the RRVEC. For years, several schools statewide have been gradually integrating more science, technology, engineering and math education into their classrooms to improve students' chances at these careers.

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Students will listen to Brooks Harper, a national public speaker with several years of corporate experience, talk about the 21st Century skills they need. He will explain why "every day is a potential job interview" as they consider their future, O'Hara said.

Students also will learn about the common eligibility for career and technical education scholarships.

"We're trying to broaden (student) horizons and say it's really OK to take an alternative path or find their passion and figure out what they really want to do," she said.

Other news

• Minto (N.D.) High School was recently recognized as the North Dakota winner of a national science and math contest, collecting $20,000 in technology tools as a result, according to a news release. The school and others nationwide participated in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, a program that encourages teachers and students to solve real-world issues in their community using science, technology, engineering and math skills. Minto students wanted to tackle local flooding problems by figuring out how to best use agricultural drainage systems. Students will work on their project in upcoming weeks and submit it for the national competition.

• The North Dakota Afterschool Partnership is holding its first annual "Afterschool Summit" Feb. 23 at the N.D. State Capitol. Terry Peterson, an advocate for education reform and improvement, will be the keynote speaker. Other speakers include state School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and Executive Director for the Minnesota Network Kari Denissen-Cunnien. Topics such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), workforce development and 21st Century skills for success will be discussed. Register at www.escweb.net/nd_seec/catalog/session.aspx?session_id=32794.

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