To break a furnace is human; to fix it, divine. EDSS students Brady Erb, Cole Burkhart and Brodie Altman proved their talent for technical on March 8 when they walked away with medals at the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada’s HVAC competition in Toronto.
The secondary school competition invites students across the province enrolled in technical electives to test their mettle against the best and brightest. Participants are judged by a panel of industry representatives, and high-scoring students win prizes.
“We did a service on a furnace, and then a written test and a mock interview for a job,” said Brodie Altman after returning from Toronto. “The interview caught us off guard – we didn’t know there was going to be an interview. We don’t know the individual scores for things, but we feel like we did pretty good.”
“We also installed a thermostat, and did wiring practice,” added Cole Burkhart. “Since the beginning of the year we prepared.”
The Grade 12 students have been enrolled in technical studies courses since Grade 10. EDSS technology teacher Randy Dyck believes the curriculum – which includes co-op training in senior year, and an opportunity to test for a G3 technician’s certificate – leaves students uniquely qualified.
“They’ll actually have an opportunity to work with employers in the related area of their interest,” said Dyck. “It really allows them to see what it is they’re working with, and at the same time really gain a lot of great experience with these employers and the work experience they’re getting from the program.”
When asked what it takes to succeed at the HVAC competition, Burkhart replied, “Practice. You have to know the equipment and be comfortable with it.
Dyck added, “It’s always the keen desire and interest in what you’re doing. Even by the mere fact that they’ve now taken what would be their second or third year in a row of what would be an elective in that area, in the heating and cooling, therein lies that first love: they enjoy it, they like doing it, they’re keen in it.”