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Farm Show offers ‘inspiring’ look at college’s varied majors

Throngs of visitors will soon converge on Harrisburg to celebrate the commonwealth’s agricultural prominence, and Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees will be there to help honor the event’s 2019 theme of “Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story.”

School of Business & Hospitality majors from Penn College take part in a Student Cooking Challenge at the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show. All six of the college’s academic schools will again be represented at the Jan. 5-12 event, the nation’s largest indoor agricultural expo. (Photo by Davey Rudy)
School of Business & Hospitality majors from Penn College take part in a Student Cooking Challenge at the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show. All six of the college’s academic schools will again be represented at the Jan. 5-12 event, the nation’s largest indoor agricultural expo. (Photo by Davey Rudy)

The college’s presence throughout the 103rd annual Pennsylvania Farm Show includes Chefs Michael Ditchfield and Christopher Grove, along with 10 students from the School of Business & Hospitality.

They will spend the opening days, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 5 and 6, working in energetic collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and celebrity chefs on the Culinary Connection stage.  A Student Cooking Challenge will be held there at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Among this year’s culinary VIPs are Ellie Krieger – host of “Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger” on Food Network and “Ellie’s Real Good Food” on PBS – and Lance A. Smith, executive chef at The Millworks in Harrisburg and a 2006 culinary arts technology alumnus of Penn College.

“Our annual participation in the Farm Show provides an opportunity to showcase the incredible talents of our students. We also demonstrate the hands-on aspect of our programs through kid-friendly activities, with the hope that we might inspire the next generation of tomorrow makers,” said Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost. “Given the historic appeal of the Farm Show, we also look forward to connecting with alumni who attend the event with their families. We take great pride in participating in one of the commonwealth’s most notable events.”

Representatives of the Alumni Relations Office will staff the college’s booth throughout the week, and the college’s academic schools will offer a rotating schedule of hands-on activities during the event.

Diesel faculty from the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies will set up a Caterpillar engine sensor diagnostic lab on Saturday, Jan. 5, affording attendees the opportunity to troubleshoot a simulated fault code in the electronic Engine Control Module.

On Sunday and Monday, Jan. 6-7, the school will feature its horticulture and forestry programs, employing virtual-reality goggles to “walk through” a finished landscape design and letting youngsters pot a souvenir seedling for planting in the spring.

2019 Farm ShowThe School of Construction & Design Technologies will be spotlighted during an interactive “Engineer Your Future” display on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Civil Engineering and Surveying Club members will demonstrate the latest technologies for collection of geographic data, along with bridge testing and other strength-of-materials activities.

The automotive side of the School of Transportation & Natural Resources will take over the college booth on Wednesday, Jan. 9, evaluating participants’ performance with the virtual-reality SpraySim paint simulator while publicly sharing the experience on a 52-inch monitor.

On Thursday, Jan. 10, through the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications’ “Agriculture in Brewing” display, Farm Show visitors will use industry-standard instruments to determine bushel weight and kernel-size distribution of malted barley samples, as well as a sieve to mill malt and evaluate grit-size distribution. The exercise will spotlight Penn College’s brewing and fermentation science major, launched during the Fall 2017 semester.

The School of Nursing & Health Sciences will literally be “on hand” on Friday, Jan. 11, asking an important question for any time of year, but one that is especially relevant during cold and flu season: “Are Your Hands Clean?” Nursing faculty will use blue-light technology to screen attendees before and after handwashing to gauge the effectiveness and thoroughness of their technique.

On Saturday, Jan. 12, the School of Industrial, Engineering & Computing Technologies will present “Design to Destruction,” developing a 3-pound robot through detailed 3D models, 2D drawings and 3D printed prototypes – then demonstrating its combat prowess within an enclosure safely sealed for observation by visitors.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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