CNCC Craig campus shows prospective students what college learning is like |

CNCC Craig campus shows prospective students what college learning is like

Nate Waggenspack

Colorado Northwest Community College chemistry instructor Liz Johnson shows how flammable dairy cream can be in the "Chemicals, Magic and Mayhem" class during the 2013 Taste of Education event. Johnson will be offering the same class again this year.

— Typically the weekend is a safe haven from the monotony of the school week, but everybody enjoyed their learning experience at Colorado Northwestern Community College on Saturday.

The Craig campus hosted its first Taste of Education, giving an introduction to college learning to anyone interested.

The school offered a full slate of courses from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., including chemistry, discussions on leadership, reading and writing and photography. All the courses were held in classroom settings where students normally would be taught. Across the board, the classes were well-attended and received.

"They were very engaged, and we had some really good comments," said Donna Theimer, dean of instruction on the Craig campus. "It was a casual, informative day, and everyone was paying attention. Hopefully, it's the start of something for people."

CNCC opened its doors to anyone who wanted to check a class out, and some from every demographic in the area attended. Of the hundreds that came, at least one middle school student was among a host of high-schoolers, current students, parents and seniors.

Braden Duncan and McKay Cheatham, both 15, heard about the event in Baggs, Wyo., and decided to come down to Craig. They took classes on automotive brakes, photography and chemistry, and enjoyed their day.

Recommended Stories For You

"It's a fun thing to do on a Saturday," McKay said. "We went to the brakes class, and they showed us some stuff that I was doing wrong, so that was good."

They also enjoyed watching a gummy bear go up in flames and a racquet ball shattering after being placed in liquid nitrogen during the chemistry class.

"It was pretty interesting," Braden said. "We learned a lot. It was fun."

The college also raffled off door prizes and scholarship money to those in attendance, capping off an ideal day.

"This is probably the most exciting gathering we've had in this building since we started a couple years ago — that's because of all you people taking the time to come here, whether it's to learn or to teach or to support a family member," said Russell George, president of CNCC, while addressing the students at the end of the day.

And at school on a Saturday, all those groups had fun learning something new or teaching something they already knew well.

"I know our faculty had a great time today," Theimer said. "Everybody here was a volunteer, so it came from a passion for teaching. That's why it was great."

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or

Unclaimed scholarship numbers

At the scholarship raffle, some tickets were selected for students who had to leave before the drawing took place. Those who still possess their ticket numbers can contact CNCC and claim their scholarship.

• No. 719712 (no name)

• No. 719721 Tony Weiss

• No. 719737 Brittney Byers

• No. 719704 (no name)