Stu­dents Show Off Weld­ing Skills At An­nual Show­down

Escalon Times - - NEWS -

Ca­reer Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion (CTE) stu­dents from seven area high schools com­peted in the Third An­nual Weld­ing Show­down on Jan. 20 at San Joaquin Delta Col­lege in Stock­ton. The 35 com­pet­ing stu­dents show­cased their weld­ing skills to in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives who helped judge the com­pe­ti­tion.

Ven­ture Academy Fam­ily of Schools (VAFS), a char­ter school op­er­ated by the San Joaquin County Of­fice of Ed­u­ca­tion (SJCOE), re­ceived top hon­ors in the team com­pe­ti­tion, and stu­dents from Ores­timba High School and Escalon High School took top marks in the in­di­vid­ual com­pe­ti­tions.

“The Weld­ing Show­down con­tin­ues to show­case the best tal­ent in our high schools from around San Joaquin County. The con­tin­ued growth and in­ter­est in this an­nual event demon­strates the need to pro­vide qual­ity ca­reer-re­lated path­ways for stu­dents in our mid­dle and high schools,” SJCOE CTE Di­rec­tor Chris Klein­ert said.

The seven high schools that com­peted this year were from San Joaquin and other coun­ties: Pat­ter­son High School, Lin­coln High School, Escalon High School, Lin­den High School, Ripon High, Ores­timba High, and Ven­ture Academy Fam­ily of Schools. Each school fielded a five-per­son team with team mem­bers com­pet­ing in in­di­vid­ual chal­lenges.

Top five per­form­ers in in­di­vid­ual com­pe­ti­tion were: Bryt­ton Mel­lor, Escalon High School, first place; Nick Lat­tig, Escalon High School, sec­ond; Jack Whitearer, Ores­timba High School, third; Michael Rus­sell, Ven­ture Academy, fourth and, fifth place tie, Evan Gu­nita, Ven­ture Academy and Jackson Meler, Ripon High School.

Top Team was Ven­ture Academy fea­tur­ing stu­dents Pa­trick Robin­son, Dal­las Blasen­gym, Felix Rodriguez, Michael Rus­sell, Evan Guinta.

Stu­dents from the win­ning team took home new weld­ing gear, gloves, jack­ets, hoods, and glasses. All stu­dents re­ceived a pair of new gloves, lit­er­a­ture, cal­en­dars, and stick­ers do­nated by Miller Elec­tric and Lin­coln Elec­tric, in­dus­try lead­ers in weld­ing equip­ment. Cal­i­for­nia Weld­ing Sup­ply also awarded a new hand­held grinder to the win­ning team.

There are many dif­fer­ent weld­ing pro­cesses: shielded metal arc weld­ing/stick weld­ing (SMAW), gas metal arc weld­ing (GMAW), flux­cored arc weld­ing (FCAW), and gas tung­sten arc weld­ing (TIG). Stu­dents com­peted us­ing SMAW and GMAW. The com­pe­ti­tion also in­cluded a writ­ten exam that as­sessed stu­dents on their tech­ni­cal weld­ing knowl­edge.

The idea for the com­pe­ti­tion be­gan three years ago when SJCOE CTE Weld­ing In­struc­tor John Herger and Pat­ter­son High’s In­struc­tor Michael Costa met and dis­cussed ways to mo­ti­vate stu­dents and to give them some­thing to work to­ward that was re­ward­ing and chal­leng­ing. Last year, Delta Col­lege Weld­ing In­struc­tor Alex Tad­dei joined the col­lab­o­ra­tion, al­low­ing more schools in the re­gion to par­tic­i­pate. “I look for­ward to this con­test ev­ery year be­cause of the stu­dents. The ef­fort they put into the con­test, along with the sup­port of the in­dus­try and the pas­sion shared by the in­struc­tors makes for an ex­tremely ex­cit­ing day. The com­pe­ti­tion is al­ways very close and it’s any­one’s game,” Herger said.

Ca­reer Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion (CTE) pro­grams in the sec­ondary grades in­te­grate core aca­demic in­struc­tion with tech­ni­cal and oc­cu­pa­tional in­struc­tion in or­der to increase stu­dent achieve­ment, grad­u­a­tion rates, and readi­ness for post­sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion and em­ploy­ment. SJCOE’s CTE pro­gram fo­cuses on pre­par­ing stu­dents to en­ter cur­rent or emerg­ing high-skill, high-wage, and/or high-de­mand oc­cu­pa­tions. CTE op­por­tu­ni­ties may be of­fered through linked learn­ing pro­grams, part­ner­ship acad­e­mies, ap­pren­tice­ship pro­grams or ori­en­ta­tion to ap­pren­tice­ships, re­gional oc­cu­pa­tional cen­ters and pro­grams, tech prep pro­grams, char­ter schools, small learn­ing com­mu­ni­ties, or other pro­grams that ex­pose stu­dents to ca­reer op­tions while pre­par­ing them for fu­ture ca­reers in a given in­dus­try or in­ter­est area.

San Joaquin County Of­fice of Ed­u­ca­tion (SJCOE) pro­vides ed­u­ca­tional lead­er­ship, re­sources, and ser­vices to sup­port schools through­out the county. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.sjcoe. org.

PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED

Shown, a com­peti­tor in the an­nual ‘weld­ing show­down’ us­ing an oxy­gen/acety­lene cut­ting torch to notch out a strip of quar­ter-inch plate.

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