Pincombe's classes learn from experts

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Fifth-grade students in Carol Pincombe's classes at Kromrey Middle School are getting a unique opportunity to hear from more than a dozen experts on a variety of potential careers this year.

The program is called Pincombe's Podium. Four topics have been covered so far and 10 more dates are also set between now and February.

This list came from a brainstorm with the children about what they wanted to learn more about, Pincombe said. She searched out "experts" in various fields. The students develop questions ahead of time and the questions are sent to the speakers in advance of their presentation. Most of the presentations take one hour.

Presenters this year have included an artist, who even brought in sketch pads for every student to keep; Mathiam Mbow, the owner of Silver Lining TaeKwonDo who grew up in Senegal; UW-Madison medical students who shared information about human organs and even allowed students to hold them; and an editor from the Los Angeles Times.

"Now everyone wants to be a journalist or photojournalist,'' Pincombe said.

Upcoming speakers include a veterinarian, pathologist, pilot, FBI agent, architect, UW insect ambassador, scientist with NASA and a chef from New York.

Students will also hear from three veterans, incluidng a retired Army colonel who was in the Green Berets and a retired Navy captain, as part of Veterans Day festivities in November.