More than 6,000 eighth grade students from the lower six counties of Mississippi explored different careers, ranging from journalism to engineering, at Pathways2Possibilities. The interactive career fair, held at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center on Nov. 13-14, was designed to help students figure out how to turn their passions into a career path.
The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Nutrition and Food Systems was located down the Health Sciences pathway. Representing dietitians, the department demonstrated how they inform the public about healthy eating habits. Their overall message was “Energy In, Energy Out.” Students were able to calculate the amount of time it would take them to burn off a certain amount of calories.
“A person weighing 150 pounds would have to jog in place for 11 minutes to burn off 100 calories. That is equivalent to one tablespoon of mayonnaise” said LaShaundrea Crook, a research dietitian in the department. “Some of the students actually jogged in place for 11 minutes to simulate burning off 100 calories.”
Each pathway engaged students in hands on experiences, educating them on different careers. The event aimed to motivate kids to pursue their passions and stay in school.
“You could really see the genuine interests in these kids already, which is great because this type of event really introduces them to fact that there is a job out there and pathways set for them - they just have to figure out which path is best,” said Rebecca Bishop, a registered dietitian and graduate assistant in the department. “Looking back, I wish I had spent more time at that age thinking about these things.”
For more information about the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems, visit http://www.usm.edu/nutrition