Colin Rak burns a Port Hardy Secondary School brand into his bench.

Colin Rak burns a Port Hardy Secondary School brand into his bench.

Grade seven students learning tools of the trade

Port Hardy Secondary School students enjoyed a day of learning trade skills

People who entered Port Hardy Secondary School June 2 would be forgiven for thinking they had entered a construction zone.

The halls rang with the sounds of sawing, hammering, and grinding as crowds of youngsters, with the help of teachers and volunteers, put together a personalized wooden bench.

The process included students assembling the bench and customizing it with their initials cut from metal and a PHSS brand they got to burn into the wood.

The event was part of a transitions program which introduced students from six area elementary schools to PHSS, which they will be attending in the fall.

“The bench was part of Trades Day which is an Industry Trades Authority (ITA) sponsored event under the ‘Yes2It’ program,” said school Counsellor Levin Prong.

“Trades Day is designed to inform and encourage youth to consider future trades careers,” Prong said.

PHSS woodwork teacher Joel Dyck, and PHSS metalwork teacher Kevin McGhee, designed and prepared the benches. The Woodwork 8 and Metalwork 10-12 classes prefabricated all the pieces. They also helped with the learning process making sure the newcomers followed the safe practices the older students had learned during their studies at PHSS.

School District 85 and local trades professionals were also invited to support and inform students throughout the process. The Trades Day also served as a fun-filled orientation during which Grade 7 students were familiarized with PHSS, the industrial facilities, and given the opportunity to meet with new peers with whom they will attend school next year.