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Hands-on Experiential Trades Learning for TISS Students
Hands-on Experiential Trades Learning for TISS Students
Posted on 05/06/2022
Hands-on Experiential Trades Learning for TISS Students

May 6, 2022 – An energetic and curious group of Grade 7 to Grade 12 students at Thousand Islands Secondary School (TISS) 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 TISS, students with an interest in the trades 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.  

Grade 10 student Garrett Grandia participated in the welding course. He had some prior welding experience from his time at TISS, but was able to expand his learning thanks to the mobile skills lab.  

"I'm starting to think of being a welder when I get older and I had a great experience here today,” Grandia stated after trying out both in-person and virtual welding.  

During the nutrition session, students delved into several areas, including what is healthy, what isn’t, and how to spot it. The learning opportunity even sparked one eager Grade 8 student to start thinking about a future career option.  

“I'm thinking that I'd like to learn more about what a nutritionist does and what that means for a career,” said Lilly Harris who learned what to look for on nutrition labels, what foods to avoid and which ones to choose. “Learning about portions and serving sizes was really interesting to find out.”

Annalie Turner also took part in the nutrition class. The Grade 7 student learned a lot about proteins, carbs, and carbohydrates.  

“I had some knowledge about diets, reading nutrition labels, but nothing quite like this experience,” she touted the learning opportunity and recommends classmates look into this as a career and to stay healthy.  

Eighth-grader, Wyatt Steacy learned about carpentry, power tools, and how to do the trade safely during the woodworking session.  

"I learned a lot, including how to use power tools, how to build stuff in the woodworking and carpentry industry,” he said. After two hours of cutting, gluing, sanding, measuring, and drilling he had a completed picture-frame sized corkboard to use in his locker or at home to remember important things. “I'd say using the power tools was my favourite part because I really enjoy the hands-on experience.”  

Steacy shared that this was a great experience for him and hopes his fellow classmates will have a try at the trades.

By the end of the week, approximately 144 TISS 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 South Grenville District High School for the week of May 9 – May 13. 

For media inquiries, please contact:   

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

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