End of SLC Training Mobile Lab Tour at Cornwall Collegiate & Vocational School


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Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) students contemplating their post-secondary experience and future career paths have had a special learning opportunity over the past few months.

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Since April, St. Lawrence College (SLC) has been touring 11 UCDSB schools in the region via mobile training labs, spending a week at each institute to engage with students. Each week featured workshops with in-person instruction, technology-focused learning opportunities, and virtual reality classes.

Both labs look like high-tech transportable trailers. A laboratory focused on teaching trades, such as carpentry, welding and electrical training. It was equipped with hand and power tools and training aids such as virtual reality welding simulators. The second lab focused on wellness, including learning opportunities for independent living, cooking, fitness, and nutrition. It was fully equipped with a mobile teaching kitchen and training equipment for fitness programs, including virtual reality cooking simulators.

“These are new trailers for us…and (Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School) is our last stop here,” said SLC coordinator Beth Steel. “From our point of view, it was really a success with a lot of commitment from the children. For us, it’s all about career exploration…it’s a taste. They can do anything and build something.

Steel explained that some of the takeouts included a wooden frame, an electrical training board and a taco lunch – all prepared by the students. The labs have involved a total of 1,300 students since April. Instructors from the various workshops also shared their personal stories and were able to connect with students who had questions.

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“It’s an excellent collaboration between the school board and the college. There are jobs in the trades. As a country and a province, we need people to get into the trades,” Steel said.

Paul Chisholm, professor of cooperative education at CCVS, agreed with Steel, pointing out the advantages of the dual credit programs available with SLC.

“Every fall we have students going to (SLC)…it gives them the opportunity to get college credits at the same time as high school,” he said.

CCVS student Seth Devost was very interested in the stories shared by some of the instructors. Devost, who had an initial interest in becoming an electrician, can now explore welding after learning in the lab shops.

“I know his stable jobs, so I want to get into the trades,” he said.

“I am proud that we have invested in this opportunity for students,” said UCDSB President John McAllister. “Tradespeople are in high demand, and these are career paths that those who wish to work with their hands should seriously consider. The fact that students can earn a college-level micro-certificate through this opportunity is a great way to start.

“This kind of innovation, experiential learning and hands-on training is exactly what we are known and excel at, and I know it will pique the interest of many students in continuing their education at SLC,” said Glenn Vollebregt , president of SLC. and CEO.

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