Grade 6 students from Chilcotin Road and 150 Mile House elementary schools got a glimpse into what middle school and a future in the trades might involve Thursday thanks to the mentoring program, Building Buddies.
The program sees elementary students paired up with Grade 11 youth who are currently enrolled in courses in welding, woodwork, automotive and foods for a morning of hands-on learning.
“It’s all about giving kids an experience in mentoring, building bridges between schools and trades awareness,” Dave Corbett, co-ordinator of career programs for School District 27, said of the successful program.
“When we give young people experiences and create vision, they are more equipped to think about future careers.”
In the introduction to welding class, teacher Tim Westwick oversaw students working together to peen (hammer) sheet metal to create a cow skull, while down the hall students learned how to change a tire in the automotive class.
Westwick said more and more students are showing an interest in the trades, particularly girls.
“The numbers of females interested in welding is growing,” Westwick said. “To be honest, most of them have a lot of patience and turn into great welders all around.”