A while ago, I visited the College of Southern Nevada to teach a soft skills class as part of their workforce development. Travel permits me to visit with good friends and at fun locations. CLICK HERE to see my upcoming travel plans.
My friend, Dennie Soukup, the Department Chair, arranged a site tour which included the use of their welding simulator. This involved wearing protective head gear and adhering to a few minutes of instruction. The welding simulator tracks a students handling and pace and then displays a score.
As the site tour continued, Dennis explained a SKILLS USA fabrication competition involving students from community colleges and high schools in Nevada. Working in teams of 3 and 4, students worked together to build a barbecue grill.
That piqued my interest. “Barbecue grills,” I thought. Now that sounds like fun.
Walking into the student competition room, Dennis showed me works in progress. There were 18″ long pipe pieces being welded into a handy barbecue grill. Smaller pipe served as the chimney. Grill handles and other accessories were also welded together.
“Where did you get the pipe,” I asked. “The 12″ pipe is used for water,” he said. “In a typical Las Vegas application they’re used for the chilled water supply and return lines from the central plant operations to Hotel towers – so there are plenty of small cuts available for donation.”
Re-purposing the unused pipe for a student competition is good efficiency and a mutual win/win. Innovative idea.
Barbecue grills, I thought. Now that sounds like fun.
Dennis explained further that the competition was a rigorous event and not every team was successful. However the judges were able to select gold, silver and bronze medal winners.
As the site tour continued, I kept thinking about those barbecue grills.
Students can learn through simulation and real-world application. And a little competition doesn’t hurt to drive students to excel and achieve outcomes that transcend their potential. The competition was a rigorous event and not every team was successful. However the judges were able to select gold, silver and bronze medal winners.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. My wife (Ronnie) and I enjoyed a backyard treat thanks to the College of Southern Nevada‘s capable students.
Innovative college instructors enable students to achieve improved welding and workmanship through competition and a willingness to win.
The competition was a rigorous event and not every team was successful. However the judges were able to select gold, silver and bronze medal winners.
The many friends that I have made among industry professionals (like Dennis Soukup) is the most fun part of my job.
Thanks to the hard-working and dedicated instructors who seek creative learning methods to improve workforce development.