Dallen Iwasiuk, left, and Chayton Iwasiuk watch instructor Robert Armstrong demonstrate how to bend the metal antlers on the mounted deer head students were creating at KPU’s Arx & Sparx weeklong summer camp. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Cloverdale

KPU hosts first welding summer camp in Surrey for high school students

Weeklong course developed by CWB Welding Foundation, funding from LNG Canada

A weeklong welding camp has given Allison Holcik the confidence learn the trade, something she wasn’t entirely comfortable with before.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University hosted a one-week welding camp, Arx & Sparx, at the Cloverdale campus Aug. 12 to 16. It was for students aged 12 to 15, with a focus on recruiting Indigenous students, to introduce basic welding skills.

The free camp was developed by CWB Welding Foundation and is funded by LNG Canada.

Allison, who’s going into Grade 11 at Walnut Grove Secondary in Langley in September, said she already does metalwork on the side at her high school.

“I kind of wasn’t comfortable with working there (at school) just because there’s not as much one-on-one time and it can be difficult to learn if you don’t have the teacher there helping you, especially if it’s something with heat and it’s kind of dangerous.”

She said the group of students were separated into groups of four, and while there was one teacher overseeing the entire camp, each group of four had its own teacher.

The groups’ teachers allowed for more one-on-one time with instructors, said Allison, adding that the teacher would be there whenever she needed it. “It made it so I was a lot more comfortable with learning.”

homelessphoto

Allison Holcik watches as instructor Robert Armstrong helps her with the mounted deer head students were creating at KPU’s Arx & Sparx weeklong summer camp. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

The course, she said, was “really fun.”

“Basically from the first day we jumped right in,” said Allison, adding that the students first learned safety and shortly after began welding. “It was crazy; straight away you get going.”

The 16 students in the camp made a project each day, such as a mounted deer head, a staircase with animals on each step and a bear in the trees. Instructor Al Sumal said he was impressed with what the students were able to do in the first four days of the camp.

“Especially some of them who have never worked in an industrial environment, in a welding shop and who didn’t even know how to read a tape measure,” said Sumal who isalso the head of the welding department.

Despite the students’ confidence levels, Sumal said he was nervous the first day,

“It’s just been a step-by-step (process). On day one, I was quite nervous, to be honest with you, because it is the first camp,” he said. “It’s my vision to do this, but I did not want to see any of these boys and gals get hurt. They’re in an industrial environment and things could go horribly wrong in a second.”

The idea for the camp has been in the works for four years, Sumal said. Every year, he said, there’s a one-day trade fair at Sungod Recreation Centre in Delta and there’s an opportunity for kids to “try a trade.”

“In 2015, I had a young mom with two small kids (stop by) and this one little boy was just standing there and she was saying, ‘Come on, let’s go.’ He was so fascinated by what was going on. I went up to him, and I said, ‘Do you want to try?’” He said, ‘Sure.’ That was the youngest kid that I actually dressed up to try and weld,” said Sumal, adding that the child would come back each year to try it.“That gave me something to think and plan about.”

Sumal said that he finally secured funding last year through the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB), but it was too late to offer a summer course. Then this year, LNG Canada came through with funding, allowing it to be a free course.

Brian Moukperian, the dean of the faculty of trades and technology, said part of his vision is that KPU Tech offers a number of camps.

This Arx & Sparx camp, he said, is the first attempt “to see what it would look like.”

“We see this as the first foray into it and it’s been a great success,” he said. “Look at these projects, I mean, who would have thought that these kids who had no idea about welding could start it and weld like that. We are, really, just delighted with the early success.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey council sends back 25-storey highrise proposal, asks for more height and density

Developer says it is ‘currently reviewing direction’ from mayor, council

PHOTOS: Surrey seniors band together at weekly jam sessions

‘My policy is to keep busy doing stuff like this, and you gotta have a smile doing it,’ one woman says

Prospera and Westminster credit unions approved for proposed merger

Abbotsford- and Surrey-based companies now take matter to membership vote

Ocean Athletics takes aim at Project Play contest in quest for track resurfacing

South Surrey Athletic Park track ‘eight years behind it’s best-before date’ says club

White Rock and South Surrey voices weigh in Trudeau ‘brownface’ and ‘blackface’

People are going to have to make an “individual choice” on how to react, says columnist

VIDEO: B.C.’s famous cat Grandpa Mason has died

The story of the feral cat that started fostering kittens touched people around the world

‘Not acceptable’: Ad linking Liberal candidate to B.C. police force removed

Jati Sidhu said advertisement only appeared for 30 minutes and was created by Montreal company

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Indian teachers that inspired Super 30 movie talk about hope

Movie is based on international best-selling book by B.C. doctor

Abbotsford erases skate park graffiti mural honouring student killed in car crash

Many in community angry at city’s move after saying art wouldn’t be immediately removed

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

Second bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

Island Health confirms second rabies case, this time in Saanich

B.C. man guilty of first-degree murder in Yukon killing

Edward James Penner, 22, was given the mandatory life sentence for the 2017 slaying of 25-year-old Adam Cormack

Most Read

l -->