At a computer programming class at Mission Vista High School in Oceanside earlier this month, a pair of students demonstrated a video game they created for the Salk Institute’s open house. Next door, in the graphic design classroom known as Studio 903, a stack of flyers that design students printed for campus clubs were ready for pickup.

The following morning, outside Del Lago Academy in Escondido, culinary students in chef’s hats served cheese pastries to members of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, while San Pasqual High School students demonstrated how to pilot a robotic device that they fabricated and built.

The events, scheduled during national Manufacturing Week, allowed local business leaders to learn about career technical education classes, which help students get a taste of the professional world. The courses, often grouped in “pathways” for sectors such as…

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