SHSM ‘Titans of Tech’ series showcases pioneering educational programs

GUELPH, Ontario – A number of innovative and experiential learning programs for Upper Grand District School Board students are being showcased online.

The “Titans of Tech” series highlights various programs that are part of the board’s Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Program.

SHSM is a Ministry-approved specialized program that allows senior high school students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma and assists in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university, or the workplace.

The first article in the series featured on the Guelph Mercury Tribune is on College Heights Secondary School’s Personal Support Worker program.

This program is one route students can take as part of the larger Health and Wellness SHSM program. Students learn patient-care skills including lifting and transferring patients, monitoring vital signs, and learning about wound care and how to change dressings. CHSS teacher Erin McIntosh designed the course to focus on real, hands-on experiences to make the assignments and activities as realistic as possible. For instance, through the support and funding of SHSM, she has been able to purchase different pieces of simulation equipment, including wheelchairs and visual simulation glasses.

The glasses, for example, allow students to experience what it’s like to live with glaucoma, macular degeneration, or retinal detachment. The exercise gives them a more realistic experience of visual impairments, they learn what it’s like to walk a mile in the shoes of someone living with these conditions.

Read more about the program on the Guelph Mercury Tribune and on the UGDSB website.

The second article focuses on Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute’s Electric Car program.

The program falls within SHSM’s Manufacturing Program, which introduces students to skilled trades and career options such as engineers, millwrights, machinists, and welders. GCVI’s innovative Electric Car program, now in its second year, is an after-school program where students learn skills in programming, electrical, machining and fabricating. They build the car from scratch, taking charge of the planning, designing, prototyping and building of the electric vehicle.

Read more about the program on the Guelph Mercury Tribune and on the UGDSB website.

The third article in the “Titans of Tech” series features Orangeville District Secondary School’s Canadian Welding Bureau Certification program.

In 2014, ODSS was certified by the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB). Since then there has been a huge jump in popularity of the program. Students in grade 12 take the certification test in the spring, which involves having a representative from the CWB to the school to evaluate the welding skills they’ve acquired at ODSS. They prepare for the certification test through welding classes and hours of practice. By taking the certification program at ODSS, students can become certified without having to pay the standard $150 fee.

Breanne Williamson

Admin Off Asst School/Career