Climbing a hydro pole might not be everyone’s idea of a dream job, but Grade 9 students at St. Paul’s Collegiate in Elie had the chance to strap on safety gear and give it a try.
Manitoba Hydro and Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) staff organized the day-long event on May 9 with 36 students participating. The students visited four stations, spending 30 minutes at each. Along with the pole climbing, they worked in teams to place hydro poles and wires in a model subdivision, build a transmission tower using materials such as popsicle sticks and straws, and design an efficient wind turbine.
Polly O’Kane, employment strategy co-ordinator with Manitoba Hydro, said this event was a pilot project for the corporation.
"This is the first time we’ve done something like this in a high school," she said, adding that Manitoba Hydro regularly promotes its career options to older students.
The day’s focus was on promoting math and science and trades, such as electrician, as post-secondary education choices, said Brenda Mutcher, PRSD’s regional co-ordinator for career and technology studies.
"This gives the students the chance to get an idea of careers involving math, physics and other sciences," she said. "We’re hoping it will pique their interest."
She said the students might be able to continue their hands-on career exploration through a 100-hour internship program that gives participants a high school credit for their efforts.
The day finished with a presentation by O’Kane who outlined what Manitoba Hydro can offer students who are planning their future education and careers.