June 1, 2022 (Avonmore, ON) – This week, the St. Lawrence College Mobile Skills Training Labs moved to Tagwi Secondary School and students are experiencing real-world learning in the skilled trades using power tools, building circuits, and learning how to challenge and fuel their bodies in new and healthy ways.
These hands-on activities are part of the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) Specialist High Skills Major Program and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program initiative to bring the labs to 11 secondary schools across the board, one week at a time, from April 4 until June 17.
Grade 7 and 8 students were given the opportunity to participate in one of six sessions throughout the week. Thirty-two students per day attend the workshops,, which are led by an instructor or trainer from St. Lawrence College. Each workshop is two-and-a-half hours long. The choice of workshops are: carpentry, welding, electrical, fitness, nutrition and culinary.
Grade 7 students Hunter Fergus, Josh Cooper and Tyson Faubert were some of the participants of the construction session on Tuesday morning.
“We created whiteboards and corkboards from one long piece of wood,” explains Fergus. “We measured, used a buzz saw, glued the pieces together, added magnets and a hook.”
“I enjoyed using my hands to build something that I could take home,” adds Cooper.
“I’m thinking of getting into carpentry,” says Faubert. “I’m planning to take construction courses in Grade 9.”
“It’s great that these intermediate students are getting hands-on in the different areas of skilled trades,” explains Ashley Grant, Student Success Learning Partner, and co-lead on this initiative. “This experience might push them to gain more skills and knowledge when they enter high school. As part of this program, we’ve been ensuring that the groups who are under-represented in skilled trades careers have the opportunity to participate.”
The trailers be at Tagwi for the reminder of the week and then head to Rockland District High School for the week of June 6 – 10.