A woman in a teal polo shirt speak to an auditorium of high school students.

Discover Series at Miramar College popular with high school students

February 28, 2023 | San Diego Miramar College

More than 300 students from the San Diego Unified High School District descended on San Diego Miramar College during February for the return of Miramar College’s popular Discover Series.

For the first time since 2019, Miramar College was able to host these popular outreach events now that the COVID-19 pandemic has become manageable.

The first event, Discover Your Drive, was held on Feb. 9. The next was the Discover Your Passion event on Feb. 13. These two events are designed to introduce current high school students to the Career Training Education classes offered at Miramar College. A total of 340 students were in attendance.

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of the Discovery Series

Discover Your Drive drew 215 high school students interested in three areas of study: Auto, Aviation and Diesel. Students received a hands on opportunity to meet with current faculty and take part in program demonstrations. All students went through a three-program rotation.

Baker Cook, a senior from Clairemont High School, volunteered to taxi an aircraft for take-off at Montgomery Field as part of the flight simulator demonstration offered by Aviation Faculty Member Josh Birnbaum. “It’s been really awesome,” said Cook. “I decided to come today to try to understand what jobs are available and what I might get paid during my career doing these types of jobs.”

Josh Birnbaum teaches Aviation 101 Private Pilot Ground School and its concurrent lab, which features 12 flight training devices. “I saw a lot of great reaction from the students that came through here,” said Birnbaum. “It’s something I wish I got when I was in high school. I am a trying to be the poster child of this program. I started in this program, and in the same class I am currently teaching. I just fell in love with this program and flying, so much that I left my career at Apple after 12 years to pursue teaching here at Miramar.” Birnbaum continued, “I’m not saying I regret my previous career choice, but if I had started this sooner how much more enjoyment would I have had in life?”

Auto students were able to get under the chassis of more than a half dozen cars, while diesel students took turns operating a backhoe provided by Hawthorne-Cat. Penske brought in two trucks for inspection, one gas powered and the other electric powered. Solar Turbine tabled at the event and representatives from the Alaska Airlines talent acquisitions team was present to meet with students.      

“We’re very excited to bring this series of events back after the pandemic,” said Claudia Estrada-Howell, associate dean for Career Education at San Diego Miramar College. “The intent of the Miramar College "Discover Series" event(s) is to strengthen the College’s K-14 CTE pathways by exposing students to the college’s Career Training Education.”

Miramar College also hosted Discover Your Passion on  Feb. 13. This event was focused on the College’s Business & Entrepreneurship, Paralegal and Child Development programs. One-hundred and twenty-five students attended the Monday event.

Discover Your Passion attendees visited the REC Innovation Lab and were shown how to start a new business and concluded by participating in a pitch presentation to their classmates. At the Child Development Center, the students learned through play at 4 different stations that included painting, manipulatives, and much more. Paralegal showed the students how to identify legal issues simply by reviewing childhood stories, such as 3 Little Pigs and Sleeping Beauty. Business shared with students strategies on how to construct a sales message while Finance played a game called Financial Football, in honor of the recent Super Bowl.

Students were provided lunch, a swag bag and were able to win prizes during both events.

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