Two grade 10 Calmar Secondary School students win silver and gold in the Precision Machining–Secondary Category at the Provincial Skills Competition held in Edmonton on May 15-16, 2013. (L to R) Calmar School Industrial Arts Instructor Darren Roth; Jorn Peeters, who won Provincial Silver and Conley Wurban, who won Provincial Gold; Trevor Fandrick, who graduated from Calmar last year, third provincial gold medal. Photo submitted by Darren Roth.
Two students from Calmar Secondary School were awarded medals at the Provincial Skills Competition in Edmonton on May 15-16, 2013. Jorn Peeters (silver) and Conley Wurban (gold) competed against six other Alberta mostly grade 12 high school students in the Precision Machining–Secondary Category.
Calmar Secondary School is earning a reputation of excellence for their machining program under the instruction of IA instructor Darren Roth. "To come in one and two as grade ten students," said Roth, " and with this being their first time competing is really exceptional."
"We had three grade ten students who worked their butts off," said Roth expressing a bit of frustration of being limited to sending only two to the competition. "The NAIT Assistant Department Head came out to help set up the internal elimination competition held at the school. Tucker Weldon is an excellent machining student. If they'd (Provincial Skills Competition) let me send three, I'm sure we would have won 1-2-3."
Another former Calmar Secondary School student who graduated in 2012 also won gold at the 2013 Provincial Skills competition. Trevor Fandrick, who is now apprenticing with Marl Technologies in Calmar, had previously won silver in grade ten. In grade eleven, he won gold at the Provincals and Bronze at the Nationals. In grade twelve, he won gold at the Provincials and Silver at the Nationals. This year, he took his third gold in a different category CNC (computer controlled) machining, post-secondary NAIT.
Roth says generous corporate sponsors like National Oil Well and Argus Machine allow the kids to go to the Provincial skills competitions held in Edmonton and the Nationals, heldin Vancouver this year. “And if we need technical support, NAIT sends out instructors.They’ve been here dozens of times.”
Roth said the Calmar machining program has attracted the attention of a lot of companies who have contacted the school looking for apprentices. The kids also take field trips to various companies to see the skills they’re learning put into action in the workplace.
As you might guess, the machinery to train the students does not come cheap—one cutter milling machine alone costs $1,400. A metal lathe is worth $20 thousand new. This exceeds what the school can afford. "We have relied on grass roots industry for support." National Oil Well has been a most helpful corporate citizen.
Another boost to the Calmar Secondary School’s machining program came through some special funding. Rather than selling the equipment that was used during the World Skills Competition in Calgary, the equipment was offered through a World Skills Legacy Grant. Roth said they applied and were awarded the grant—receiving $180 thousand worth of state-of-the-art machining equipment—used only 3-4 dozen times. Because the machines are so up to date, students can hone their skills at a much higher technical level.
Congratulations to Calmar’s award-winning students Jorn Peeters, Conley Wurban and Trevor Fandrick; on your Provincial Skills Compeition win and to IA instructor Darren Roth for your teaching excellence!