Special needs students from eastern Oregon spent March 15 on the Malheur National Forest attending a career fair organized by Forest Service employees.
This is the first time that this event was held on the forest and employees hope to make it an annual event. It was geared toward high school students with special needs, and included students from several schools.
Chaperones brought 45 students to the fair. Staff members from several different program areas engaged with the students through interactive displays that highlighted many of the career fields available with the Forest Service. The young people moved among various stations, learning about archaeology, timber, fisheries, recreation and many other disciplines. They had the opportunity to learn about a wildland fire engine, try surveying equipment, see the forest in 3-D on a map with special glasses and touch all sorts of animal pelts.
This event also helped to connect the students to their national forests, as it was the first time many had been to a forest. Since their visit, several students have returned to the office with their parents to share their experience.
The day was a success and there were moments when it was not clear who had the most fun—staff or students.