College to Offer Hands-On Activities, Demonstrations at Farm Show

Published 12.20.2006


Pennsylvania College of Technology will be well-represented at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.Pennsylvania College of Technology's academic programs will be well-represented at the 2007 Pennsylvania Farm Show, with demonstrations and exhibits scheduled throughout the event in Harrisburg.

Steven R. Parker, instructor of environmental technology in Penn College's School of Natural Resources Management, will conduct a session on "agroterrorism."

The presentation is scheduled from 1-2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, on Stage 1 in the Farm Show Complex's Family Living Center. Parker has been designated as a "master trainer" through the Department of Homeland Security, helping American Indian tribes nationally fight any intentional attempt to compromise the country's food supply.

On Monday, Jan. 8, students and faculty from the college's School of Hospitality will demonstrate recipes at noon and 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., the students will participate in a School Cooking Challenge, during which they will have 30 minutes to create a dish "from raw to finished" using only products sold on the Farm Show floor.

Throughout the day, the students will also assist guest chefs and cookbook authors with their demonstrations and prepare samples for audience members. They will work with Dawson Flinchbaugh, of Flinchy's Restaurant Bar and Deck in Camp Hill; Gill Lewis, corporate chef for Giant Food Stores; Jason Viscount, executive chef for Bricco, Harrisburg; Paul Francis, executive chef for Colonial Country Club, Harrisburg; and Bill Scepansky, corporate chef for Four Seasons Produce, Ephrata. All demonstrations take place on the cooking demonstration stage.

School of Hospitality students chosen to travel to the Farm Show are: Christine L. Faherty, Williamsport, culinary arts and systems; Joshua A. Gemberling, Mount Pleasant Mills, culinary arts and systems; Amanda H. Shughart, Mechanicsburg, culinary arts and systems; Andrea E. Sites, Myerstown, culinary arts technology; Marija G. Staznik, Harrisburg, hospitality management; Sarah J. Turbitt, Milton, culinary arts and systems; and Timothy C. Wright, Honesdale, culinary arts and systems. Walter C. Talmadge, Matamoras, baking and pastry arts, will attend as an alternate and will help staff the college booth.

Helping to organize the students' back-to-back demonstrations (one every hour from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and manage the prep kitchen are Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts. Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, and Chef Paul Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, will perform demonstrations with the students and help in the kitchen. Mach will also join Tom Speicher, video production developer, in signing copies of the "You're the Chef" cookbook at Penn College?s booth on the Farm Show floor.

The cookbook, released in early December, offers recipes and cooking tips from the award-winning "You're the Chef" public-television cooking series, co-hosted by Speicher and Mach. The book was published by Penn College's Schools of Hospitality and Integrated Studies.

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, students and faculty from Penn College's School of Health Sciences will offer demonstrations and hands-on activities, including:

  • EMT-Paramedic Using a human-like simulator, practice inserting a breathing tube and an IV, and pace and defibrillate a heart.
  • Surgical technology Experience the skills needed to perform in the operating room. Try your skills at an appendectomy, hysterectomy and skin stapling using actual surgical instruments and suturing equipment.
  • Occupational therapy Learn and experience how people with disabilities can remain independent. Test your skills at performing various activities using low-vision devices.

On Wednesday, Jan. 10, faculty and staff from the School of Natural Resources Management will help visitors test their knowledge with wood-species identification, a horticulture "wheel of fortune," and a diesel technician tool test. Participants can enter to win an MP3 player and thumb drives.

On Thursday, Jan. 11, the School of Construction and Design Technologies will be on hand with displays of architectural models and a demonstration of the refrigeration cycle.

Also on Thursday, Penn College, Williamsport Area Community College and Williamsport Technical Institute alumni and their families are invited to an alumni reception from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Farm Show Complex. Fellow alumnus, state Sen. Jake Corman, will share his thoughts on education and rural issues being considered in the state Legislature. For more information, call 1-877-PCT-ALUM (1-877-728-2586) or send e-mail .

On Friday, Jan. 12, the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies will offer demonstrations and displays by students and faculty as well as hands-on activities using new technology.

Visitors can: program a robot to pick up blocks and stack them; program a small milling machine to engrave their name; make a sign of their own design using plastics thermo-forming technology; learn how components are made using rapid prototyping technology; and practice welding skills with a welding simulator. They may also register to participate in a free drawing for a beautifully machined checker set, a metal-cased clock, or a pair of solid-brass candlesticks, all made on Penn College's campus.

Admissions and Alumni Relations office representatives will be available throughout the week.

For more detailed information about Penn College's 2007 Pennsylvania Farm Show activities, visit on the Web.