In the parking lot at Sutherland Secondary School sits what looks like a regular tractor trailer. On the inside of the trailer, however, sparks are flying, metal is melting and teachers are learning. The trailer is actually a welder teaching trailer operated by the Canadian Welding Association Foundation. Secondary school technology and trades teachers from across the North Vancouver School District were recently offered a two-day, hands-on professional learning session to enhance their welding skills in order to better support student learning.
"Welding is one of the most employable construction trades and teaching students foundation skills gives them a head start in making an educated choice for their career path. Most teachers have a generalist background and by focusing on one trade we are able to enhance their skills and understanding," said Trent Konrad, Technical Outreach Officer, Canadian Welding Association Foundation.
Over the two days, teachers engaged in basic Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) theory and practical work. In addition to furthering their understanding in welding and being able to demonstrate the techniques, the seminar focused on evaluating students' welding work more accurately – what discontinuities to look for in the welds, as well as ways to determine if a weld is satisfactory. The training was led by Red Seal instructors and took place in the tractor trailer, which has been outfitted with individual welding stations and state-of-the-art equipment. Each school also received a package of safety glasses and gloves to promote safe work practice and use of personal protective equipment in their shops.