Repetition is key to mastering welding. Taking time to practice outside of the classroom is an excellent way for students to gain the skills they need to succeed in welding; thus, the Sycamore High School welding club was formed.
SHS has offered a Welding and Metal Fabrication class to students since August 2013, so adding a welding club seemed like a natural next step. “We wanted to give students an opportunity to practice skills, especially students who are not in the class. We can bring in guest speakers, and there is a lot more time to do projects and apply it to real world situations,” said Christian Thurwanger, SHS agriculture teacher and welding club advisor.
“If you break it, we can fix it” is the mentality of the club. Whether it is a bike rack, a mailbox, or anything that is metal and falling apart, the SHS welding club can fix it. They enjoy building objects, too. The club has plans to work on projects with community members to allow students a real-world, hands-on experience.
Although the welding club is new at SHS, they are ready to show off their skills. The club will be competing in the Chicago Pipefitter 597 Union competition and the competition held at Elgin Community College. “These [competitions] are great ways for students to get internships and get them going into actual pipeline welding,” Thurwanger said.
Any student at SHS can join the welding club, regardless of experience. Meetings are held once a month, and practices are twice a week after school. All gear is provided; however, students are strongly encouraged to purchase their own.
Individuals or businesses interested in partnering with the SHS welding club on a project should contact Christian Thurwanger.