May 26, 2022 (Cornwall, ON) – This week, the St. Lawrence College Mobile Skills Training Labs are on site at St. Lawrence Secondary School (SLSS) where 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.
The majority of the students taking part this week are in Grades 8-12 and were selected to participate based on the interests they have shown in class in various areas. Thirty-two students per day go through one of six 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 9 SLSS student Victoria Ackroyd took part in two workshops this week – culinary on Tuesday and electrical on Wednesday. Ackroyd explained that it was the hands-on learning that she enjoyed the most. “For electrical, it was the realization that what I built, worked. In culinary, we made tacos and I enjoyed learning the proper way to cut the food.”
“The skills our students are learning in these labs are invaluable,” explains Ashley Grant, Student Success Learning Partner, and co-lead on this initiative. “This experience gives students a taste of what a career might look like in a skilled trade, but it also gives them the opportunity to use what they learn in everyday life. We are especially interested in ensuring that young women and Indigenous students get an opportunity to participate in the skilled trades workshops, as both of these groups are generally under-represented in those industries.”
The trailers be at Tagwi Secondary School next, for the week of May 30 – June 4.