Tour plants seeds for future students
- EFN Staff | May 05, 2017
Students from Westmount Community School in Saskatoon received a sneak peak at their potential future educational opportunities by spending the day at SIIT recently. The day included presentations on academic areas and a tour, but also included things like one-on-one question and answers with staff members so that students can learn more about jobs that might be of interest to them, and an opportunity for students to meet the senior executive team.
“The staff at Westmount surveyed their students and found some had no vision of post secondary schooling so they wanted to create a pilot project to bring the students in and have access to the staff and students and have some presentations,” said Angus Thomas Sanderson with SIIT Access Services. “Great to see the students engaged. We had a student come in today very quiet, but now to be in this helicopter and engaged and smiling. It is showing these kids the wonderful opportunities that SIIT has to offer.”
The morning activities of presentations all took place on the SIIT downtown campus. In the afternoon students toured SIIT's state-of-the-art Aviation Learning Centre and then the Saskatoon Trades & Skills Centre to learn a little more about the welding program. The tour was perfect for the students at this time of year.
“In our grade 7 curriculum we are looking at practical and applied arts. So, working with fellow teacher Lisa Langan we are looking at jobs and careers and helping students plan their future,” said Chandi Marshall, Métis culture teacher at Westmount. “We want them to see the post secondary opportunities that they have ahead of them. It gives them an idea of jobs they can have. And they also get to see successful Indigenous people in this tour. They are making that connection and see themselves here. They are really engaged and excited.”
Grade 7 student Tuirand Smallboy enjoyed his field trip and helped him make a plan for his future already. “I learned about the trades like welding and stuff. I want to be a welder. My brother has been a welder and I watched him,” said Smallboy. “I like days like this. The helicopter was the most interesting.”
With the seeds planted during the tour, Sanderson was hoping to see the youth back in a few years. “Whether in IT, or health or whatever it may be, this tour is to spark the passion in these young people for further education,” said Sanderson “And grade six and seven is where to start. By the time, you are in grade 11 or 12 your mind is made up. We want to give them a glimpse of the future and what’s before them and what opportunity is available.”