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Kids Shadow Adults on Groundhog Day

February 03, 2001|DALONDO MOULTRIE

Punxsutawney Phil was given a run for his shadow Friday at Mulholland Middle School, where students were greeted by San Fernando the Groundhog.

The school was one of many across the country participating in Junior Achievement's Groundhog Job Shadow Day.

The event encourages businesses and individuals to allow high school and middle school students to visit workplaces and learn about different career opportunities.

At Mulholland, San Fernando the Groundhog--actually a girl in a costume--found its shadow as did many business professionals participating in the event. Representatives from local newspapers, the Los Angeles Police Department and other industries were on hand to answer students' questions about their careers.

One theme was technology. Three specially renovated mobile homes equipped with technology-based equipment provided demonstrations for students, educators and parents.

C-SPAN, the cable political news station, had a mobile unit equipped with broadcast capabilities. The Manufacturing Technologies Laboratory, sponsored by the Economic Alliance for the San Fernando Valley, demonstrated uses of robotics in manufacturing.

Wells Fargo Bank and the Community College Foundation brought one of their three "E-Busses." The rig is equipped with computer terminals and travels to communities offering Internet and computer training.

Ashlee Richard, 13, a Mulholland student, took time to use one of the E-Bus computers. The eighth-grader said she has a computer at home but knows little about surfing the Internet. She said she could benefit from the training offered on the E-Bus.

Mulholland Principal John White said he looked forward to Ashlee and other students learning more industrial uses of computers and the Internet.

"The mind-set of a lot of students when they sit in front of a computer is to play games," White said.

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