Students from Panther Valley High School were given the opportunity to interact with local professionals and to start thinking about their futures at the school's third annual Career Day on Friday, May 11.

Career day is a yearly event designed to expose students to a diverse selection of career opportunities. The event is organized by the school's Freshman Transition Team. Team members, Tim Grazio, Cindy Nevenglosky, and Ted Collins provided the students with a list of presenters from which they chose six to attend presentations by.

"It's never too early to start thinking about what you want to do in life," said Collins. Career day helps the students to decide what to focus on in high school and explore job fields they might have previously overlooked. "In general, they can concentrate on studying a little more in the area that they think they will like, and they might find that they don't like it. So either way, it's a good thing," Collins added.

One of the event's presenters was Mary Lou Purnell from McCann School of Business and Technology who spoke to the students about the field of surgical technology. Purnell discussed McCann's program with the students before showing them a video presentation on job roles, job market outlook, education requirements and even a little bit about the accreditation process.

After the video, Purnell brought all of the students to the front of the class to give them a chance to use the laparoscopic trainer. A laparoscopic trainer is a machine that mimics minimally-invasive surgeries and is used to improve manual dexterity and depth perception. Using the laparoscopic trainer, students saw through a scope which was connected to a video screen and used a grasping clamp to pick up and transfer small beads onto pegs.

The first student to test out the trainer was senior Amanda Stocker. Stocker had little difficulty with the task, yet gained a new found respect for surgical technicians.

"You need to really pay attention and be able to be focused," said Stocker.

Students were also able to attend presentations by representatives from White Water Rafting Adventures, Pyramid Sports Performance Center, Lehigh Carbon Community College, OAA Orthopedic Specialists, the Carbon County Juvenile Correctional Facility, PA Career Link, WMGH Magic 105.5, and Jim Thorpe National Bank.