Program Spotlight: Elementary Try a Trade in the Comox Valley

The Comox Valley school district offers their students a wide range of skills and trades options, including secondary school apprenticeships and the ACE IT program. While students normally wait until middle school or high school to try their hand at skills and trades, the district has courses targeted for elementary students, such as the Try a Trade program.

The enthusiastic sounds of elementary students learning carpentry, plumbing and mechanics echo through the district’s Sandwick Technical on a regular basis. Senior leaders from the district’s three secondary schools (G.P Vanier, Highland and Mark Isfeld) arrive before their elementary counterparts for training. Each leader is assigned a skills station—including painting, mechanics and concrete pouring— and a group of students to mentor. The focus is getting tools in the hands of the students.

We caught up with a class of grade six students from Cumberland Community School who spent a day at Sandwick Technical trying the trades.

Hunter, 11 “I want to become an engineer because I really like math and design.”

Shay, 11 “I like Try-A-Trades because its young kids teaching even younger kids how to do things.”

Asia, 11 “I like working with my hands, it’s more creative. I wish more students could try this program!”

Sydney, grade 10, G.P. Vanier “My shop teacher signed me up for the program because I already had an interest in the trades. There are not a lot of girls interested in skills and trades and I want to share my enthusiasm with others. It’s lots of fun helping the students and answering questions. I either want to be an electrician or a baker after I graduate.”

Sandwick Technical offers carpentry, plumbing, electrical, drywall, painting, concrete, mechanics and work safe practices as part of the Try a Trade program. For more information, visit www.sd71.bc.ca.

Posted: 12 March 2015