Letter: Fraser-Cascade students make their mind up about welding at summer Mind Over Metal camp

Editor,

School has officially started, but twenty Hope Secondary students got a taste of school in mid-summer. School District No. 78 (Fraser-Cascade) hosted their first Canadian Welding Association Foundation (CWAF) Mind Over Metal camp from July 23 to 27 at Hope Secondary School.

Fraser-Cascade was one of only 50 camps fully sponsored in Canada this year. Funding included breakfast and lunch every day, some personal protection equipment, all the materials and metal for the students’ welding projects and some nice CWAF swag.

This program, Mind Over Metal, is targeted at youth with hopes of changing their and their parents’ perceptions about welding and careers in welding. Hands-on learning at these camps builds confidence, self-esteem, and gives youth a reason for continuing on to post-secondary education.

Fraser-Cascade would like to thank the CWAF for the opportunity to host the Mind Over Metal camp and the generous donation of $136,000 this past year to update the welding equipment in Hope Secondary’s shop. This donation has allowed our students to learn on modern equipment, be more engaged and learn valuable skills that will help them later on in their careers.

Hope Secondary teacher Jeremy Smith was the event’s instructor for the week. He shared how proud he was of all the students: “they all worked hard, cooperated, and listened well.” Participants ranged from Grade 7 to 10. The blend of grades allowed for students to share experience and collaborate on the projects. Smith commented that “some had never touched a MIG welder or plasma cutter, others had lots of experience. It was so great to see the experienced students helping the others develop skills of their own. Some were a little intimidated at first, but once they had a demonstration of how easy the machines were to operate, they were eager to get started on their project.”

Some of the projects students made were personalized dog tags, a hot dog roaster, a cowbell and a metal rose. The camp discussions also focused on different welding careers, the school’s apprenticeship courses and Fraser-Cascade’s dual credit partnerships with UFV, TRU, and BCIT that allows for full tuition sponsorship into a welding program.

Karl Koslowsky

Vice principal, Hope Secondary School/District Vice Principal Careers and Transitions

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