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Camper Emily Ibarra of Great Bend and visiting professor, Dr. Pamela Hatesohl of Kansas State University stir small batches of yogurt they will allow to ferment.

Though the Food Science and Safety program at Seward County Community College/ATS is relatively new, the career and industry possibilities are broad. This year’s FSS Summer Academy introduced students to the chemistry and biology used to study food properties, food spoilage, food processing and foodborne diseases.
What that meant in practical terms was yogurt-making, Amish friendship bread and even a cookout — after students learned the science of meat safety by injecting E.coli bacteria into raw hamburger, preparing slides, and observing what happened over time.

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Liberal High School student Jason Oyler collects soil samples during Sustainable Agriculture Academy, hosted on the SCCC/ATS campus in June.

Time was, Southwest Kansas kids spent the summer helping on the farm. Thanks to the newly-introduced Sustainable Agriculture Summer Academy, high school students in the area had the opportunity to take a look at farming in the future. With guest lecturer Dr. DeAnn Presley of Kansas State University’s Department of Agronomy, Sustainable Ag program specialist Erin Russell covered topics directly tied to the long-term enhancement of agriculture.
Topics included examination of water and soil quality, agriculture basics and how agriculture connects to basic human food and fiber needs, economic viability and quality of life not only for farmers, but for society as a whole.
Students sampled soil and water, visited a lagoon operated by Seaboard Farms and observed how lagoon water can be used for irrigation, toured the Seward County Landfill, an award-winning facility that composts materials sourced from National Beef Packing, and traveled to the Garden City research development site operated by K-State. Participants in the four-day camp stayed in SCCC/ATS dorms and ate in the cafeteria.

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SCCC/ATS students Alisha Clark and Jose Moreno-Torres, front, served as ambassadors for high school students from Liberal and the area, who attended Allied Health camp in late May.

Just after area high schools dismissed classes for the summer, the Allied Health Division hosted a two-day camp for students entering grades 9-12. Participants explored health careers in conjunction with the college’s programs for Medical Assistant, Respiratory Therapy, Surgical Technology, Medical Laboratory Technician, Sports Medicine and Nursing. Instructors addressed educational requirements, skills and typical job duties. Students participated in interactive, hands-on activities that highlighted skills, equipment, technologies and resources of the individual programs.

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A collaborative project spearheaded by Seward County Community College/Area Technical School's Dean of Career and Technical Education Janese Thatcher brought a donated jet from FedEx to the Mid-America Air Museum, where it will be transformed into a classroom for students of all ages.

Sunlight broke through a haze of overcast sky just as the roar of a rapidly-approaching cargo plane alerted a crowd of hundreds that Alina had arrived.
The retiring FedEx jet taxied to a stop on the grounds of the Mid America Air Museum in Liberal June 5, to be greeted by cheering schoolchildren and officials from the entities that will collaborate in the project to transform the aircraft into a classroom for education in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — subjects. The Liberal Learning Jet will involve Seward County Community College/Area Technical School, the City of Liberal, USD 480, and the air museum’s own foundation board, which now owns Alina.

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