“We took the name from Skills Canada,” said Brian Linn, school and work co-ordinator for the Sask Rivers School Division. “At the national competitions, they always have Try-A-Trade sessions where the students touring around can try different trades, so we thought this was a great idea.”
Students had a variety of options to choose from, including architecture, carpentry, welding, cooking, cosmetology, video editing, electrical machining, mechanics and theatre arts.
A blurb about each of the sessions was sent to students, who then chose three and were placed in two. Each session lasted an hour and a half, with one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
“For most areas, they get to take something home,” Linn said. “For mechanics, for example, they get a certificate that says they took apart a lawnmower engine and put it back together.”
Students who participated in the carpentry session took home wooden keyholders. In machining, students made dice and dog tags and in theatre arts, students made latex fingers.
“Every area has got its own little thing. It’s pretty neat,” Linn said.
All materials for the various sessions were provided. As well, students in the more senior grades assisted those participating in the workshop.
“One of the other perks is they come in and we get to recruit Grade 10, 11 and 12 students to be helpers for the day in each of the sections,” Linn said.
“To be honest, that’s one of the neatest things for me -- to see students in a completely different light,” he added. “They’re the teachers now, and the amount of learning they’re getting is huge. Just to hear their feedback just blows me away every year.”