Youth learn to design web page
at Skills Canada - Ontario Camp
held at Bruce Power

By Liz Dadson

Internet & Technology

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Trevor Davis, Information Technology (IT) technician at Bruce Power, gives the youth a quick computer history lesson Wednesday morning at the Skills Work!® Summer Camp, partly sponsored by Skills Canada - Ontario, held at the Bruce Power Visitors' Centre

Emily Johnston (L), 13, of Cambridge, whose family has a trailer at Port Elgin, and Ainsley Harron, 13, of Port Elgin get ready to create their own website, Wednesday morning, at the Skills Work!® Summer Camp held at the Bruce Power Visitors' Centre

Ethan Schmidt (L), 12, of Cargill, Justin Moulton, 12, of Kincardine, and Conner Dixon, 13, of Kincardine wait for instructions on designing a website at the Skills Work!® Summer Camp Wednesday morning

Sixteen students heading into Grades 7 and 8 in September, were getting some hands-on training during the Skills Canada - OntarioSkills Work!® Summer Camp held this week at the Bruce Power Visitors' Centre.

Youth, including seven girls and nine boys, came from Kincardine, Tiverton, Paisley, Cargill, Port Elgin, and the surrounding area to attend the camp, said Brieanna Holm of Skills Canada - Ontario. Of those, four had returned from last year's camp.

This is only the second year the week-long camp has been held at Bruce Power, she said.

Holm said that Monday, the campers learned about pneumatic systems and fire training. They went to the Bruce Technology Skills Training Centre (located at the Bruce Energy Centre) for fire simulator training.

Tuesday, they went to the Bruce Learning Centre, on-site at Bruce Power, for hands-on training on the crane simulator

Wednesday, the emphasis was on computers, the Internet and web design. They were also building electromagnetic motors.

Thursday, they were learning about entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses. They were also going to join a security team from Bruce Power at the range on-site.

Friday (today), was to be the culmination of all these activities as the campers were set to present their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel, similar to "Dragon's Den," and in the afternoon, they were to showcase what they had learned for their parents.

Wednesday morning, Trevor Davis, Information Technology (IT) technician at Bruce Power, gave a brief history of computers and the Internet.

Using a power-point presentation, he showed the campers the first video game - "Space War," the first computer mouse, and discussed the advent of technology through to the current Internet and E-mail age.

The first commercially-successful computer weighed 24.5 pounds and sold for $1,800 in 1981, said Davis. From there, technology advanced at a rapid pace to the lightweight, inexpensive laptops, iPads, Smart Phones, etc., that we have today.

From 1992-98, the number of websites grew to 2.5-million from just 50, said Davis. As of 2012, there were 644-million websites in existence.

Brian Moss, senior IT analyst at Bruce Power, then took over to lead the campers through the process of creating a website.

Brian Moss, senior IT analyst at Bruce Power


Ontario is facing a skills shortage which prompted Skills Canada - Ontario to begin holding these Skills Work!® Camps each summer. In partnership with Hydro One, the Government of Ontario and community colleges throughout Ontario, Skills Canada - Ontario has been offering the camp since 2001.

Through hands-on activities relevant to the skilled trades, campers develop communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills. They take part in counsellor-led and industry-led workshops in the industrial, construction, motive power, services and technology sectors; they explore careers in skilled trades through interactive games, industry tours and entrepreneurship programs.

Skills Canada – Ontario is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the skilled trades and technologies as viable career options for Ontario youth.

There are 26 camp locations across Ontario, including specialized camps for Aboriginal youth, girls-only and boys-only camps, as well as French and bilingual camps.

Throughout the year, Skills Canada - Ontario promotes the skilled trades and technologies through in-school presentations, Ontario Technological Skills Competitions, Cardboard Boat race competitions, women’s networking dinners and conferences, and Aboriginal initiatives.

For more information, visit www.skillsontario.com/camp

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Thursday, July 18, 2013