We Tried “Try a Trade”

“When I grow up, I want to be a….” Well, chances are you will “be” many things during your lifetime, by choice or by chance. The trades might be part of your future.  Most people think of the building or construction trades first (carpentry, plumbing, electrical and so on), but people also earn a good living through satisfying hands-on work in the  automotive trades, personal service (hairdressing, cosmetology), information technology, and as chefs. We learned more about the possibilities at Discover Trades and through our trip to Sandwick Technical Education Centre. Take a look at our video and read what some of our bloggers had to say about the experience, below.

Have you ever poured concrete to make a picnic table? How about wiring a light bulb? No? Well, now our class can say we have because we just went on a field trip to learn about future jobs we might want to have. We learned so much while we were  there.   (Elysa)

Sandwick [the career and  training centre we visited] is a great place for kids to learn about the trades and take a big part in them. I think it  provides a great opportunity for kids who like to learn with their hands and not just sitting in a desk all day. They give the kids what they need to do the job and what they have to practice to become a real master of the trades. (Kyle)

Mr. Grey [career and trades coordinator] was very informative and showed us a really good video on safety in the workplace. He also let us hang from the ceiling on a Fall Arrest. A fall arrest is a harness that you wear when working on a roof or any place that is high off the ground that breaks your fall so that you don’t hit the ground. We also did competitions where we had to hammer a nail in to a piece of wood, and put two pieces of metal together with a screw. (Melanie)

My group got to do construction and drywall. In construction we followed a plan for a little house. We then built one of the walls. After that we went on to drywall. In drywall we got to cut holes in the wall. We then learned how to fix it. Cut out a piece of drywall, the same size as the hole, then tape the remaining cracks, and apply the mud. Let it dry and paint over. Then your wall is as good as new! (Becky)

There many fun activities in each trades station. The one I enjoyed the most was a part of plumbing and it was soldering. Soldering is similar to welding but involves solder and a tiger torch. You melt the solder to where the parts of the pipes connect and it acts as a glue or like a weld. (Josh)

This experience has definitely given me a better idea of what the trades are, and what I want to do when I get older.  If I were to do a trade, it would probably be hairdressing or cooking but I think that I would rather do something that involves going back to school because there is so many options. But it was still nice to learn about all of these things so I can do it if I need to, instead of hiring someone to do it for me. This has also changed the way I see buildings and even my own house. I know how it was built and the effort it took for that to happen. (Sophie)

If you could have one job, what would it be? I could tell you one thing it might be. It might be a trade. As I had said, there are a lot of trades out there. Pouring cement is a trade along with welding. Mainly anything you do with your hands is a trade. Well. Almost everything. I don’t think playing video games is a trade… Yet. (Chelsey)

So, have you begun to think about what you’ll do in the future? You’re likely to have more than one job in your lifetime–perhaps one will be a trade. After seeing the video and reading about the trades, would you consider the trades? What do you think your career path will look like?



  1. Dear Huzzahnians,

    I so enjoyed watching you learn at Sandwick. The first high school I taught at had vocational classes as well as academic classes. When I was a new teacher, I had an old car that occasionally needed work. I was able to drop my car off in the automotive class, go upstairs and teach English, and get updates every class period from the kids who had been working on my car the class before. It was great! Those kids were helping me as I was helping them. We had a great symbiotic relationship. Also, sometimes my students who were in the culinary classes brought me their class projects to sample. Yum! I think it is so beneficial to learn the trades. We all do some part of the trades in our own daily lives, whether or not we choose to pursue the trades as a career. My husband works in the computer industry now, but he worked as a plasterer and a roofer for over five years when he was younger. Now, he puts those skills to work maintaining our home. Because he had training in those trades, he feels confident trying his hand in some other trades. He has built cabinets, laid tile, painted rooms, and done just about everything else around our house, except electrical work. I’m glad you enjoyed your experience at Sandwick!
    ~Mrs. Donofrio

    1. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Sandwick. I have enjoyed blogs like Make that celebrates doing things with your hands. In the past several decades we have moved away from doing the practical things that we should be able to do–darn a sock, repair a leaky tire, change the oil on our cars. The adage of my mother’s generation was “use it up, wear it out, make it last”. It is harder now to make things last because so many things we use are not designed to last. But there are things we can fix. Things we can make. I am hoping that the experience at Sandwick has reinforce that hands are for doing, and that doing is fun.
      ~Ms. Smith

  2. I enjoyed the video because it was really interesting seeing how much effort and hard work you (need to) put in!

  3. Hey Mrs.Smith,
    I would like to say that your blog is a favorite of mine. It always seems to grab my attention with its fun posts and colorful pictures. Something that would like to do for a career is to make music, sing and act. My school does a play each year and I will participating in that, so you could say I’m getting practice for the future!
    Was teaching your first choice for a career?
    Keep posting and come visit my blog!


    1. Hi Mercedes! What a lovely compliment–a real honour. I think every moment of every day we are preparing for our future and paving the way. This includes the mistakes we make as well as our successes. They all give us information to grow on. No, teaching was not my first choice. I thought I was going to be an art conservationist. The cost of the university courses were too high for me so I had to think of something else. My parents reminded me to think of something I was already doing and enjoying. I thought about how satisfying teaching Sunday School had been so I considered education. I’m glad that’s where I landed–it’s been a very rewarding career.
      Best wishes blogging,
      ~Ms. Smith

  4. I thought this was very interesting. Although I didn’t see anything that interested me, I think it is a very good idea for people to be able to try out different types of jobs. When I get older I think I would like to either be a coach, work with small children like a teacher, or maybe be an artist of some type. I think it is a hard decision to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. I hope that through different jobs I might have as a teenager I will be able to figure out what I want to do when I go to college. I liked the video. It was a great idea.

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