Grade 8 Coqluitz middle school students (counter-clockwise from left) Taya Iverson

Colquitz students delve into welding, mechanics, robotics at career fair

SD61's Choices program designed to raise awareness with Grade 8 girls about career pathways available to them

Sarah Miller walked out of Vic High on Thursday (Nov. 20) with a 12 inch steel octopus she welded under her own power.

It was the first time Miller ever picked up a torch. The Grade 8 student from Colquitz middle school chose the interactive welding seminar, one of 15 workshops as part of the inaugural Choices career awareness conference. The School District 61 initiative brought together 120 Grade 8 girls from all 10 middle schools. It started at Vic High, and bussed the crew to Spectrum Community School for lunch and speeches.

“I liked welding, it was challenging. (The octopus) will be great for hanging key chains or jewellery,” she said.

At 13, Miller is in the minority, as she already has designs on joining the navy when she grows up (she’s a leading seaman with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Rainbow branch in Esquimalt). Likewise, her counterpart Taya Iverson of Colquitz is likely to attend Spectrum next year.

“I want to do woodwork. Trades is in my family,” Iverson said.

Even so, both admit the day was an eye-opener.  “It’s great to hear from women actually working in (their industry),” Iverson added.

Choices is designed to raise awareness with Grade 8 girls about the variety of career pathways and learning opportunities that are available to young women, said Anna Lisa Bond, the middle school career and transitions coordinator who orchestrated the event.

“We’re showcasing it as a female focused event by no means to isolate or exclude, but as an opportunity to share possible learning pathways with young women. We often only know what we have seen our own parents, or families engage in, and when exposed to new experiences and possibilities, our thoughts begin to expand and new worlds can open up to us.”

The workshops covered trades, including welding, steel-fitting, electrical, robotics and autobody. It also looked at careers in policing, health and science, fine arts, agriculture and more. Monterey student Fionalee Lustado attended the women in policing and welding workshops.

“I wasn’t thinking about what I might do as a career. I’m not sure I’ll do welding (or policing) but now I’m thinking about (what different the careers are),” she said.

Bond helped organize a similar initiative with a trades focus, when Grade 7 and 8 students partnered to construct a donated shed for Lambrick Park and Gordon Head Rec. Centre in the spring.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Plans in place for Cordova Bay commercial development

Staff approve proposal for 91 residential units and 46,797 commercial space for Cordova Bay

UPDATE: Island Health says no need for alarm over needle prick incidents in Victoria

Briefing followed meeting between Island Health, downtown service providers

Victoria a hot spot for millennials: new study

City ranks No. 2 for generation of Canadians seeking work-life balance

Rumble in the Vale: Strawberry Vale homeowners hang banner protesting construction noise, rumbling

Banner reading ‘Do you hear what we hear?’ hangs over Colwood Crawl

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Richmond, Uplands will need seismic upgrades to reopen

Richmond elementary could be replaced with new building, if needed

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

B.C. hockey player nominated for Hobey Baker Award

Myles Powell is a forward at Rochester Institute of Technology

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Most Read