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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning
All Hands on Tech!

Grade 10 DDSB students participate in technological education symposium

On November 20th from 9 am to 3 pm, Grade 10 students in the Durham District School Board (DDSB) gathered at the Education Centre in Whitby for a day of technological education. "All Hands on Tech!" was organized by Jennifer Parrington, the DDSB's Technological Education Facilitator.

​Students choose a hair extension to work with in the hairstyling workshop.
Students choose a hair
extension to work with in the hairstyling workshop.

​DDSB students learn about welding from Durham College students.
DDSB students learn about welding from Durham College students. 

To start the day, students listened to the effervescent keynote speaker Mandy Rennehan. She is the CEO and founder of Freshco – a full service, 24/7 retail maintenance business. Some of Freshco's clients include: Lululemon Athletica, Banana Republic, the Body Shop, Sephora, and many more.

Rennehan motivated students to pursue their career dreams regardless of gender, religion, or family influence. Noting that there is still a shortage of women in the skilled trades she says, "Good guys support women, and good women take other women with them when they succeed."

Redefining the meaning of blue collar to the public is one of Rennehan's main goals. She asked students to think about the bed they wake up in, the fridge they get food from, and the house around them. She explains, "Who do you think made those things? We did, and you can. The skilled trades are sexy, trendy, and lucrative."

After lunch students dove into various workshops about: radiation protection, hairstyling, welding, and more.

Career Preparation

Students try on protective suits and use a locator to find an energy source in the radiation protection workshop.
Students try on protective suits
and use a locator to find an
energy source in the radiation
protection workshop.

In the radiation protection workshop, students tried on protective suits and listened to Jonathan Hash, an Ontario Power Generation (OPG) representative, speak about the different types of energy and how they work with them. In the hairstyling workshop, students learned how to style different types of extensions into hair. In the welding workshop, students learned about welding from Gregg Peel, a welding professor at Durham College, and competed in their own 'welding Olympics.' 

Parrington explains her reason for organizing the symposium, "When researching what this looks like from the student's perspective, I found that Grade 10 is a key time for students as they determine what

​L-R: Keynote speaker Mandy Rennehan and DDSB Technological Education Facilitator Jennifer Parrington pose for a photo
L-R: Keynote speaker Mandy Rennehan and DDSB Technological Education Facilitator Jennifer Parrington pose for a photo before the symposium. 

the last years of secondary school learning will look like and how we can best prepare them for career fields."

She adds, "It was also critical to ensure two truths were heard by this consortium; that there are incredible amounts of employment opportunities in the skilled trades right now, and that the skilled trades need women as well as men to pursue these lucrative careers."






Contact

Durham District School Board
400 Taunton Road East,
Whitby, ON
L1R 2K6 Canada

Phone: 905-666-5500
Fax: 905-666-6474
Toll Free: 1-800-265-3968
TTY 905-666-6943, 877-868-5575
General.Inquiry@ddsb.ca
© Durham District School Board, 2013