Elementary students walk onto campus for Walk Into Your Future event

The university partnered with Noble County Promise to host 2,400 elementary school students and introduce them to college Oct .1. The event was part of an Indiana Department of Education initiative.

2,400 elementary students attended an event at the university Oct. 1. (Photo by Alex Hoffman)

The university hosted approximately 2,400 elementary school students Oct. 1 for the “Walk Into Your Future” event. The event was put on by the university and Noble County Promise in order to get the students to start thinking about college.

The event consisted of 35 stations of which each group of students visited five. The booths were designed and lead by faculty and students in various departments and ranged from a performance of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” to a science-based magic show to a sing-along.

“It took the entire campus,” Nate Perry, director of undergraduate admissions, said. “This is not an event that one or two people or one or two departments can really make happen. . . . Everybody embraced it.”

Senior Kristen Springer helped Ruth Nalliah, Ph.D., with the fountains and rockets chemistry station which featured diet cola and Mentos fountains and Alka-Seltzer and water fueled rockets.

“My role was to help the students understand what was happening in the fountain and rocket experiments and, more importantly, excite them about future opportunities in the sciences,” Springer said.

Perry said that this event was a part of “College GO! Week,” which is an Indiana Department of Education initiative to encourage young students to experience college life.

“It was our intention to spark an interest in the students and get them excited about continuing their education past high school,” Springer said.

Perry said that Noble County is one of four counties in Indiana that held this kind of event. Wabash and Whitley Counties had an event at Manchester University, and LaGrange County had their event at Trine University.

The university was the primary pick for Noble County.

“When we sat down with local educators to discuss options we wanted to find a college campus that had a family atmosphere,” Lisa Walter, Noble County Promise coordinator, said. “Huntington was our first choice.”

After the event, Perry, Springer, and Walter all agreed that it was a successful event.

“I think the event went very well,” Springer said. “The students seemed to enjoy not only the stations but interacting with college students and professors as well.”

With the success of the event, Walter said that it is Noble County Promise’s hope that this event will continue for years to come. However, Perry said that whether or not the university will continue to host it remains uncertain.

“It’s not been talked about,” Perry said. “I could see it being a recurring thing. It’s a matter of still having counties choose us to be the location for this event. . . . I would say there is an increasing likelihood that it could happen again, especially since it was successful.”

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