Trail area high school students eyeing a future focused on engineering and geoscience spent a day on the Selkirk College Castlegar Campus discovering post-secondary options and hearing stories from local experts.
In partnership with JL Crowe Secondary, Selkirk College welcomed 47 students to campus for a day of workshops and a panel discussion. Dubbed “Explore! Engineering and Geoscience” it was a chance for the Grade 11 and 12 students who have expressed an interest in the field to dive a little deeper.
Selkirk College invited 47 JL Crowe Secondary students to the Castlegar Campus at the beginning of June for the “Explore! Engineering and Geoscience” event aimed at introducing the young scholars to post-secondary options close to home. The day-long event included a panel of local experts who discussed their role in helping make the regional economy tick.
“The goal of this event was to expose students to as many engineering/geoscience fields as possible, provide an opportunity to learn from local industry professionals, gain awareness and glean information on how they can start their post-secondary journey through a variety of Selkirk College programs,” says Amy Byers, Selkirk College Recruitment Specialist. “We wanted students to leave feeling extremely informed and excited about possible career opportunities that await them.”
Selkirk College offers options for students in the region to get a terrific start including a first-year university transfer program for engineering, the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program and geology courses in the School of University Arts & Sciences.
Mechanical engineer Ian Tyson was one of the guest speakers at the Explore event and started his pathway at Selkirk College in 2008. Also a graduate of JL Crowe, Tyson provided some depth about what the field provides and some insight into his current position at Teck’s Trail Operations.
“Engineering is a complex field and it’s possible to migrate into different areas throughout your career,” said Tyson, who started at Teck in 2012 and has held several different positions.
Getting a Glimpse of an Engineer's World
The morning consisted of workshops focusing on engineering as a career choice and the afternoon included a panel discussion with local engineers/geoscientists including Stephen Johnson (Columbia Power Corporation), Michelle Postnikoff (Teck), Kim Green (Selkirk College Geology Instructor and Geoscientist at Apex Geoscience Consultants), Will Halleran (Apex Geoscience Consultants), Brendan Bussell (Hatch) and Brad Carter (Redwood Engineering). The panel talked to students about the wide range of options and the daily routine.
“A typical day is not typical, every day is a new puzzle,” said Halleran, an engineering geologist who works in areas like landslides and soil erosion.
Graduating from Trail's JL Crowe Secondary in 2003, Ian Tyson started his post-secondary journey towards a degree in engineering at Selkirk College where he got one year under his belt and then transferred. Tyson has returned to the West Kootenay and currently works at Teck's Trail Operations.
The JL Crowe students who took in the Explore event are part of a cohort that focuses on engineering and science. The Grade 11 and 12 students are provided the standard high school courses, but tailored towards the expectation that they will enter post-secondary engineering or science.
JL Crowe math and physics teacher Mike Morissette was with the class as they took in the day’s activities. Raised in Trail, Morissette chose the Selkirk College engineering program out of high school before transferring to the University of British Columbia and changing directions to earn a degree in math.
“It was great to start at Selkirk College,” said Morissette. “I personally loved coming here and it allowed me to get a year under my belt and stay at home. It provided a comfort level of being in the area.”
Having his students spend a day on campus at a time when major educational decisions are weighing heavy was a good opportunity said Morissette.
“It’s been a valuable day and there is a lot information to take in all at once, but they have to get used to that when they head off to college or university next year,” he said.