Middle school students from throughout Chinook’s Edge have had an opportunity to “Just Try-a-Trade” recently, at Olds College of Agriculture & Technology. The program, in its second year, expanded so that there would be smaller groups of students having increased hands-on learning to begin to understand their own readiness for skilled trades careers.

Students attending “Just Try-a-Trade” were exposed to careers in heavy equipment, with a tour of the Agriculture and Horticulture labs at Olds College - along with discussions about the many careers available in those fields.

“We are working on building programming in Chinook’s Edge that is specifically designed for middle school students to experience various career pathways at an age where it is important for them to explore possibilities out there and find where their passions lie. This “try-a-trade” day fits into our development of opportunities for skilled trades careers,” said Jackie Taylor, Director of the Central Alberta Collegiate Institute.

photo of studentsphoto courtesy of Chinook's Edge School Division

Taylor said, “providing exploration like this helps students better understand how to pursue career pathways that are of interest to them. There is a lot that a student can do as early as middle school to prepare themselves for career training after high school. In the skilled trades careers, higher levels of math and science skills are important and opportunities like “Just Try-a-Trade” help students see the value of these subjects in school for their future career training success.”

Schools who chose to participate brought 14 students, who expressed interest in skilled trades careers, to Olds College. Unlike last year, where all the schools brought students on the same day, this year each school got its own allotted day, during February and March. Schools that participated included: Bowden Grandview School, Cremona School, Elnora School, Ecole Fox Run School (Sylvan Lake), Innisfail Middle School, River Valley School (Sundre), and Westglen School (Didsbury).