The Travelling Trades Program: On-the-move learning

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One of the five trailers that will tour the Peace Wapiti School Division giving students hands-on training in small engines, transmissions, electronics, robotics and cosmetology.

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In the Grande Prairie area, education is going mobile, bringing classes to the students of four schools in the Peace Wapiti School Division in Northern Alberta.

Encana's donation of $119,000 allows the Travelling Trade program to equip five mobile trailers with all the tools, equipment and materials for classes in small engines, transmissions, electronics, robotics and cosmetology. Students who take part in the program enroll in one of the classes and after completing the 10-week program receive two or three credits toward their high school diploma.

The trailers were unveiled on August 15, 2013 to begin providing students with instruction for the upcoming school year. Encana’s Don Rowan, Community Relations Coordinator in the Grande Prairie region, was on hand to help celebrate this important unveiling.

The curriculum for the five courses was assembled by three local teachers; Connie Mitchell of Beaverlodge Regional High School, and Mickey Lanigan and Principal Jim Nicholson from Spirit River Regional Academy.

"Teaching something like small engines in a classroom and being able to take apart brand new engines gives students a taste of what these trades are really like, and maybe it will provide some alternatives for them to pursue," said Lanigan.

Students in local communities without a high school will receive a version of the robotics course tailored for junior high school students.

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