CWA Foundation Mind over Metal

Twenty-one Grade 8 students explored the profession of welding during a Mind over Metal camp at Valley Heights Secondary School in Langton, Ontario

CWA Foundation Mind over Metal

Twenty-one Grade 8 students from Houghton Public School donned welding lids and explored the profession of welding during a CWA Foundation funded Mind over Metal camp host­ed at Valley Heights Secondary School in Langton, Ontario.

A cow bell, hot dog roasting fork and a metal tree with hearts were the projects the students welded during the camp. The students also received a certificate of completion during gradu­ation ceremony when the camp concluded.

“It was pretty cool,” said camp participant Latessa Thiessen, 13. “Welding is a lot more fun than I had thought. It’s very creative. I’m glad I signed up for the camp, I had a lot of fun.”

The students also performed some bending and used other tools such as cutting shears, grinder and hand held filling tools to add their own personal touch to their projects.

“I think these camps are great,” said Cristy Thiessen, Latessa’s mother. “It introduces kids to another world of possible career options. My daughter had a lot of fun – she really enjoyed the creative side of welding. Her father is an ironworker so it’s great for Latessa to have an understanding of what her dad does.”

Richard Wiens, 13, Grade 8 student said the CWA Foundation Mind over Metal camp was a lot of fun, especially when he fab­ricated the wiener roasters.

“The projects were so cool. I had so much fun. Making the wie­ner roasters was the best part,” he said. “Another part that was fun was the arcs and sparks. It took a little while to get used to it, but welding is fun.”

Grade 8 teacher Ian Summers said it was a pleasure to partner with the CWA Foundation so his students could experience this type of educational learning.

“They had a great time. They grew as students and individu­als as the camp progressed. It was quite spectacular to see this first hand, and how they took ownership of their projects and the pride in their eyes when they completed the projects was amazing to see,” he said.

Valley Heights Secondary School welding teacher John Dab­rowski said the students were very attentive and eager to strike the arc.

“This group of students were great, they really enjoyed the camp and were very eager to learn,” he said. “It’s always a plea­sure to work with such a great bunch of kids. If this camp in­spired one student to consider the welding profession, then we succeeded.”

From the inaugural CWA Foundation Mind over Metal camp held in the summer of 2014 in Edmonton, AB., and 13 camps later, over 300 Grade 7-8 students from all across the country have participated in the camps.

“This year we’re aiming to fund 30 camps with an investment of over $200,000,” said Deborah Mates, Executive Director of the CWA Foundation. “We’re striving to minimize the welding shortage in Canada, and by hosting camps at the grassroots lev­el, we’re confident it will inspire the next generation of welding professions. These camps are the first of their kind in the coun­try, and the CWA Foundation will work diligently to raise the profile of the profession while promoting public safety.”