How Tech-Ed programs change in Vancouver high schools

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LINDA NGUYEN photo– John Oliver students Jamee Burgos (left) and Ellie Prato (right), work on screen printing sweaters for the school’s upcoming play, done by their school’s theatre group.

John Oliver Secondary School provides the most diverse tech education program out of South Vancouver high schools.

Ben King, a tech education teacher at John Oliver brings high praise for the school’s program variety.

“I think the biggest thing is that we are seeing as kids are moving, as technology have shifted, as the demands from industry have shifted, we are looking at students who are interested in not just in doing shop just for trades.” King said.

The school’s tech education provides Metal, Automotive, Electronics, Drafting and Design, Woodworking and Graphic Arts.

One program introduced this year particular is a standout.

“The one we’re probably, currently in the shops most interested and proud of, is the STEM program we are offering. We are in our first year. It is the second STEM program offered in Vancouver that we know of. The other one is in Templeton (Secondary school).” Ben King said.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and offers high school students more high-tech experiences, rather than tool skills based work.

Other South Vancouver schools like Killarney Secondary School will not be adapting to newer programs until the next school year.

Rory Brown, president of the Vancouver Secondary Teachers’ Association and trades advocate, thinks Vancouver schools aren’t providing enough diverse programs, similar to John Oliver’s.

“Tech education is in a crisis of purpose.” Brown said

He praises the development of STEM programs and spoke highly of the program John Oliver provides.

STEM is a great, general exploration program.” Brown said

Brown likes programs like the Accelerated Credit Enrolment In Industry Training program, otherwise known as ACE-IT. A trades program offered by the Vancouver School Board, students in Grade 11 and 12 to do their field training that centres around traditional trades skills.

ACE-IT is one facet.” Brown said, adding students interested in the field must be exposed both every program options before deciding their career options. “High school students should be exposed in all technical aspects.”

 

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