Co-op students learn about real life

About 65 students showed off their co-op experience at the sixth-annual co-op display day yesterday at Fort High.
Displays ranging from hairstyling to radiology and taxidermy were spread around the small gym from 9:30 a.m. until noon. Students clearly learned a lot–but not always what they thought they would.
“They often went [to their co-op placements] expecting something and got something completely different,” said Al McManaman, one of three teachers who organized the co-op program.
“The [display day] is an opportunity for students to show off some of the things they learned from their employer,” he added.
Ben Hebert’s placement at Abitibi-Consolidated here helped convince him he wants to be a welder.
“I’m writing my [welding] tickets in a couple weeks . . . to work stainless pipe and black iron pipe. Those are what you need to be a welder,” he noted.
Hebert added he didn’t realize some of the awkward positions welders can get into to get a job done.
“I went out on a job with [his girlfriend’s dad] and I didn’t realize that they had to be in such difficult positions. It’s a workout,” he admitted.
Mark Colvin always “enjoyed television and communications” and did his placement at Videon Cable 11. He hosted and did some camera work but his favourite was the “streeters.”
“I think one person said, ‘Get that thing out of my face!’ Some people just don’t like cameras,” recalled Colvin, who will continue to volunteer at Videon over the summer.
The Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. and the Falls Memorial Hospital provided Jen Sinclair with an opportunity for a unique experience–and a chance to see what she wants to do as a career.
“You got to work on a woman on one of the ultrasound machines. I got to go on her stomach and see if I could see kidneys, bladder, things like that,” said Sinclair, who also got to see a baby on the ultrasound machine.
Meanwhile, Terry Richards worked at Sturgeon Creek Taxidermy, where he skinned and fleshed animals. He helped stuff a life-size moose and several fish, including two northern pike.
Richards said he found the work easy but is still not sure taxidermy is for him. “I’m not sure what I’m going to be doing in five years. This is a possibility,” he noted.
Co-op teacher Marnie Cumming said there are more than 100 area businesses and establishments involved in the program. She noted display day is unique to Fort Frances.
“I’ve never heard of anyone else doing this,” she said.