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CROWNPOINT — The aroma of eggs cooking in frying pans filled the hospitality center at Navajo Technical University.

The scent was produced by high school students cooking two-egg omelets in the culinary arts competition at the university's Dual Credit Open House and Skills Fest on Oct. 22.

Freda Joe, dual credit coordinator at NTU, said the event provides students the opportunity to learn about the university's academic offerings.

Students also participated in competitions that centered on skills and trades they are learning in school, including automotive technology, construction technology and culinary arts.

Other competitions focus on academics, including one where students talked about the carbon footprint.

"We try to provide some kind of exposure to the students of what kind of skills they'll need to perform in whatever vocation or career they plan to go into when they leave high school," Joe said.

In the culinary arts competition, each student had 20 minutes to cook an omelet.

Alexandria Heart, a student at Bond Wilson Technical Center in Kirtland, prepared her cooking station before igniting the burner.

Heart said she had been practicing her cooking skills in classes at Bond Wilson and was planning to use cheese, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms in her omelet.

"Making food is obviously a part of life and it's something that will help me in the future," Heart said.

At the next table was Jaylynn Delgarito, who was participating in the baking competition.

For that competition, students had 15 minutes to decorate two sugar cookies.

Delgarito attends Bond Wilson as well and is thinking about attending culinary school after she graduates in May.

"I just like cooking. It brings everyone together," Delgarito said.

Bond Wilson sent 48 students to the event, including several who are enrolled in the school's dual credit program with NTU.

A group of dual credit students participated in the construction technology competition, where they built 3 feet by 3 feet dog houses.

"It's a great experience for our students. Not only to see the campus and see the university here and everything they have to offer," said Milo McMinn, coordinator of academics at Bond Wilson.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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