two people working in a welding booth

(ABILENE, Texas) – High school students from the Texas Panhandle to Abilene’s Wylie High School, and everywhere in between, discovered the technologies and career possibilities available at Texas State Technical College during a Discovery Day on Thursday, Nov. 9.

The event was held at TSTC’s Industrial Technology Center in Abilene, and it featured hands-on activities and information from several TSTC programs offered around the state. More than 400 students were able to weld, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or put out a virtual fire.

Ryan Salome, a TSTC student recruitment representative, said the students were excited to have interactive sessions with instructors.

“There were a lot of programs that the students did not know we offered at TSTC,” Salome said. “Their expectations were high, and the feedback has all been positive.”

High school staff members wanted their students to experience some of the many programs available at TSTC.

“I wanted our students to see the opportunities that are here,” said Shiela Maberry, a secretary with Hamlin Collegiate ISD. “Some of the students do not know where they plan to go to school. This is a great way for them to see what is available.”

Cody Smith, a vocational teacher at Wylie High School in Abilene, brought many of his students to see the Welding Technology lab.

“I told the students that they would be blown away by the facilities and the instructors,” he said.

Bill Caraway, a Hereford High School engineering and robotics teacher, said many students were interested in another asset available at TSTC.

“I was surprised to see how many of my students showed an interest in the housing available,” he said. “I was able to tour the dorms in Sweetwater and was impressed with all of the facilities.”

Discovery Day was a chance for TSTC’s instructors to showcase their programs and current students.

“This was a great way for students to see what is available in their educational career,” said Greg Nicholas, a TSTC Welding Technology instructor at the Abilene campus. “The students enjoyed their time welding with our students, and several came out of the booth asking questions of our current students.”

Tony Montoya, a TSTC Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology instructor, said many students came prepared to ask questions.

“Many of the students asked high-quality questions, which means they did their research before coming in,” he said. “The students like that they will not have to travel far to earn a degree or certificate in this program.”

Most students visited the Emergency Medical Services lab and the ambulance simulator. In the same room, students competed against each other in performing CPR, which was led by Matt Briggs, TSTC’s EMS clinical coordinator.

“The students were engaged and focused on trying to revive their patient,” Briggs said. “These students are the future of our program, and this was a way for them to be excited about being a first responder.”

TSTC’s Sweetwater campus will host a Discovery Day for high school students on Thursday, Nov. 30.

Registration for the spring semester is underway. For more information, visit


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After touring TSTC’s Emergency Medical Services lab, visiting high school students simulated performing CPR on a medical manikin.


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High school students were timed while trying to extinguish a virtual fire in the Occupational Safety and Environmental Compliance lab at TSTC’s Discovery Day.
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