Twice a year, in the fall and spring, juniors in Kirk Hewitt’s Electrical Technologies program go to the Electrical Trades Center, part of IBEW Local 683.
While Kirk’s students learn from books and hands-on exercises in class, the visit to the Electrical Trades Center delivers another opportunity.
“This field trip gives students a chance to see the facility they will be training in during their 4- to 5-year apprenticeship if they are accepted to the program,” Kirk said.
“It also gives them a chance to see an area of training they may not have seen in their high school program.”
Kirk assigned students to one of five sessions led by teachers at the Electrical Trades Center based on each student’s ability and areas of special interest. Sessions offered last Friday were electrical experiments, fiber optics, Milwaukee tool demonstration, splicing/taping/terminating practices, and welding.
Junior Lance Berard, whose home school is Logan Elm, said he chose the Electrical program because of the opportunities it will provide him.
He is not sure if he wants to go directly into the workforce or go to college first but he is preparing for both.
“There's a lot of different (electrical) fields you can go into so I thought it was pretty cool to have options.”
Lance was assigned to electrical experiments, taught by Mike Hassle.
“He was really kind of hands-on with everything,” Lance said. In one demonstration, a copper tube is held vertically and a magnet is dropped through it.
Kirk explained that the magnetic field reacts with the very conductive copper tube, demonstrating Lenz’s Law.
“The magnet looked like it was floating,” Lance said.
In the spring students will take part in outdoor activities that electricians experience on the job.