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GSS Students Receive Hands-on Learning Experience for a Career in the Trades
GSS Students Receive Hands-on Learning Experience for a Career in the Trades
Posted on 04/28/2022
Students learning

April 28, 2022 – A keen group of Grade 8 to Grade 11 students at Gananoque Secondary School (GSS) are engaging in an exciting and unique hands-on experience this week that is allowing them to learn how to do electrical, weld, cook, build, and how to move and fuel their body in ways to make it strong and healthy.

Students have had the opportunity to learn about fitness, nutrition and how to cook; talk with experienced electricians and carpenters, and then learn how to use power tools and build electrical circuits; and weld, both in real life and through virtual reality simulation. These hands-on and real-world activities are part of the UCDSB Specialist High Skills Major Program and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program initiative to bring the St. Lawrence College Mobile Skills Training Labs to 11 secondary schools across our district, one week at a time, from April 4 until June 17.  At GSS, students with an interest in the trades Students learning were able to sign up for one of the six workshops and attend a two-and-a-half-hour session, hosted by an instructor or trainer from St. Lawrence College.   

“Students are able to learn more about these trades and industries and it’s really getting them to think about courses they may want to take in high school, and opportunities they may have beyond that,” explains Lauren Levac, Student Success Learning Partner, and co-lead on this initiative. “We are thrilled with the amount of student engagement and community support we have received as the SLC Mobile Labs travel throughout our school district. The schools have done a great job at generating interest among students, including those who are generally under-represented in the skilled trades, with an opportunity to participate.” 

While each session runs longer than a typical class, students remain excited, focused, and retain what they’ve learned.  

Students learning Grade 11 student Brooke Buell took part in the fitness session and was thrilled about her experience. “This was a really good opportunity and honestly, these mobile labs are a great idea,” she said. “It's a good way for kids to get in, try different things, and learn.”  

Buell learned how to properly do workout routines, how to feel comfortable doing them without getting injured, and learned more about the different muscles and how they work. She says the class was very helpful and sparked her interest in pursuing health and fitness at post-secondary school for a future career in the industry. Buell, who often finds herself as the only female in the gym or fitness room, says that even if you are the only one, don’t let that intimidate you. “I just say who cares? Do what you want because you're doing it to be healthy and active. You shouldn't care what other people say or think.”

At the electrical trailer, students each worked onStudents learning a circuit board that had several different learning opportunities, some of which included lights and a doorbell.  

I'm thinking of being an architect and I want to learn more about what goes on with electricity and all that within the houses I'd be designing,” says Giulietta Devries, a Grade 11 student who learned how to safely strip and connect wires, and problem solve when it comes to the electrical trade.   

I didn't know that I would enjoy it this much,” she said after successfully connecting wires to the light and ringing the doorbell. “It is really interesting to me. 

By the end of the week, approximately 144 GSS students will have had an opportunity to take part in one of the sessions. Those who participate will earn a micro-credential certificate from St. Lawrence College.   The trailers will move to Thousand Islands Secondary School for the week of May 2 – May 6. 

For media inquiries, please contact:   

April Scott-Clarke   Manager of Communications   Upper Canada District School Board   [email protected] 

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