A tradition of excellence exploring trades continues

At Sandwick Technical School located on Rennison Road, a lot of ​creativity goes on. Sometimes unnoticed until May and June when every Grade 7 class  throughout  Comox Valley Schools cycles through, trying up to eight trades - Carpentry, Concrete, Electrical, Plumbing, Drywal​l, Painting, Mechanics and Cooking.
 
The event is called Try a Trade and is designed to introduce young elementary students to a field of hands on experience and skills. Specifically, the goal is to target these students prior to entering secondary education so to give them a better taste and appreciation for an apprenticeship career. If their experience was intriguing enough, students can concentrate the latter part of their high school years focusing on a trade that will open up to a career path post secondary education. This often helps the leader students determine if s/he would like to apply for a Youth Train in Trades program such as carpentry, welding, and plumbing at North Island College.​
 
As a second advantage and purpose, Try A Trade allows that senior secondary student to act in a mentorship role, leading the young #Learn71 students through a trades station. High school students are able to reinforce their passion for pursuing a tr​ade and test their ability to take on a leadership role. It's a win-win for the junior and the senior student.
 
The day long experience begins with the senior leaders arriving prior to their "junior learners," reviewing and practicing a station they are going to work at. Grade 7 students arrive eager to pound nails or frost a cake just before lunch. But before they start the hands on work, a quick introduction and safety lesson is delivered by Randy Grey, Sandwich Alternative educator and Try a Trade coordinator for the district.
 
"The best part of my job is seeing the grade 7 students having fun while learning through hands on activities by the older students," shares Grey. "Try a Trade is really the start that many young people need in finding out what they are good at and like to do."​
 
This week, the team at Sandwick had the last group, Ecole Robb Road students rotate through.  Try A Trade program has been in the district for the past five years.

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