100 Mile Elementary rang with the sound of hammers last week as students took part in the Youth Discover the Trades program.
Using nails, wood and string, the students set about making their own colourful 3-D design. It was one of two activities that allowed the children to experiment in the carpentry and plumbing trades.
“Living in 100 Mile House and the Cariboo, in general, it’s very much a resource-based economy and there are a lot of these jobs available for these kids to move into,” Alana Meyer, who teaches SD27’s new elementary applied design and skills technology career and resource program. “Giving them the exposure and the exploration aspect while they’re younger gives them the ability when they go into high school to pick their electives.”
Meyer said the program is a mini-version of a larger event held each year. Tradespeople are usually invited to work directly with the students but due to COVID-19 protocols, the school instead used a form of “speed dating” visits with the professionals such as Ross Thompson of R&R Electrical and Jayco Plumbing’s Justin Guimond.
“We had a bunch of tradespeople come in and the kids interviewed them and asked them all kinds of questions about their careers. The rest of the week we had the kids come in their cohorts and do a plumbing and carpentry activity,” Meyer said.
For the plumbing session, the students were challenged to build a gravity-based “roller coaster” out of pipes for marbles, while for carpentry, they used nails and string to create a design on a block of wood. Grade 7 students Tucker Gust and Jordyn Meville said they enjoyed the program.
“I do a lot of woodwork at home so it’s kind of fun to do it with my friends,” Jordyn said. “They’ve been enjoying it a lot.”
David Corbett, SD27’s coordinator of career programs, said the 100 Mile students were game to try some different activities and work with their hands. His main goal is to give students options about potential careers.
“Every year we try to expand. One of the key things when we do our Youth Discover the Trades program, with Industrial Trade Authority BC, we like to have actual contact with tradesmen,” he said. “Hopefully next year we’ll be back to some of the things of the past but adding some of these new activities also and just making it that much more beneficial for the kids.”