Chamber News

New ‘hot lab’ enhances student curriculum at local high school

New ‘hot lab’ enhances student curriculum at local high school


Business community contributed more than $11,000 to complete school renovations, purchase equipment

TRURO – Classroom work has become “more interesting” says two Grade 12 students at Cobequid Educational Centre (CEC) thanks to the construction of a  new in-school skills training lab.

Christian MacPhee of Upper North River and Colby Tattrie of Camden demonstrated their welding skills on Monday for a crowd of onlookers during the official opening of the school’s new “hot lab.”

“You can do anything with a welder. It’s unlimited,” says Tattrie.

MacPhee says learning to weld as part of the Production Technology 12 course makes class more fun. “You can use the welder to explore and see what you can make,” he says. “It makes school more interesting.

About 25 people participated in the official opening ceremony including students, staff, Chignecto Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) officials, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) officials, including Minister Karen Casey, along with representatives of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce.

“The supply of skilled trades within the community continues to be raised as a challenge facing local businesses,” says Chamber president Andrew Lake. “Chamber members and businesses with links to the welding trade did not hesitate to support the development of a welding lab at the high school, as a means to expose students to the profession.”


The chamber hosted a fundraising campaign to assist with renovations at the school, as well as the purchase of equipment, to enhance hands-on skilled trades training for high school students. About 20 chamber members and industry partners provided more than $11,000 in financial and in-kind assistance to the school’s renovation project, which was also financially supported by CEC, CCRSB and DEECD.

“The creation of CEC’s hot lab demonstrates how the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Chignecto Central Regional School Board and members of Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce can come together to benefit students and provide them with an opportunity to learn a skill that will benefit them in life and possible post-secondary studies,” says school principal Bill Kaulbach.

The lab was constructed in an area of the school that was previously used for automotive trades training in the 1980s. The classroom was extensively renovated to meet all current building codes and safety standards.

Welding is now being offered as part of the curriculum in a number of courses including Production Technology 11, Production Technology 12, Design 11, Exploring Technology 10, Electrotechnologies 11 and Applied Technology 10-12.

Approximately 150 students will have access to the hot lab this year.