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Bray Lynn is pretty fond of nail guns

Bray Lynn Patterson and 59 other ​elementary students from Trillium Lakelands District School Board “Tech It Out” at Georgian College
Bray Lynn Patterson puts the finishing touches on the summer camp chair she made during Tech It Out at Georgian College. Photo provided



Sixty students from various elementary schools in the Trillium Lakelands District School Board are gaining a hands-on introduction to the skilled trades while getting a taste of college life at the same time.

The students are taking part in a “Tech It Out” camp from May 16 to 20 at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College.

A partnership between Trillium Lakelands and Georgian College, Tech It Out introduces young people to the skilled trades in a fun, informative – and most importantly – immersive way.

They stay overnight at Georgian’s Barrie Campus residence and spend three days involved in engaging workshops and fun activities.

The students participate in workshops ranging from woodworking, plumbing, Computer Assisted Design, electrical, machining and environmental engineering.

As an added bonus, they get to take home some pretty cool creations. In the woodworking workshop, students were each given a bundle of wood and learned how to transform it into a summer camp chair – which many of them put to use right away at their evening movie night.

In their machining and CAD workshop, students produced their own personal 3D Tech It Out nameplate, doing their own centre punching.

Bray Lynn Patterson, a grade seven student from Honey Harbour Public School, is enjoying her camp experience. The 12-year-old had already learned a bit about carpentry while working at home with her dad, but has really enjoyed learning many new skills during her Georgian visit.

“I’m learning more about the skilled trades,” says Patterson. “And I enjoyed touring the facilities and got to use a nail gun for the first time.” She was also excited to try out the climbing wall at Georgian’s Athletic Centre.

The students visited Georgian’s Midland Campus on May 17 where they did the rounds of plumbing, electrical and small marine engines workshops in the Skilled Trades Centre.

Bruce Barrett, Superintendent of Secondary School Improvement and Student Success, visited with the students on May 18, along with other school board representatives.

“It’s so important to expose students to the skilled trades early, so they can visualize a future, potentially in the skilled trades,” says Barrett.

“It’s a great way for our students to see that learning isn’t just about sitting in a classroom – there are opportunities to use your brain and your hands to create products that are also a path to meaningful employment. In our neck of the woods students can certainly take these skills and apply them directly to a passion and a lifestyle in their own backyard and beyond.”

Barrett added that the other great opportunity is the ability to interact with an excited grade 7 student and take that excitement and have it be a part of a kitchen table conversation with their parents.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Trillium Lakelands District School Board to offer grade 7 students a unique and immersive experience at Georgian College,” says Kevin Weaver, Dean, Technology and Visual Arts.

“Students are participating in hands-on workshops in areas of skilled trades, technology and environmental studies at the Barrie and Midland campuses with the hope that we will spark an interest in these or other science and technology related fields.”

Weaver calls Tech It Out “truly impactful” because it allows students to live the college experience while gaining meaningful exposure to opportunities in the skilled trades.