Students placed in driver’s seat of simulator

Grade 11 student Zane St. Cyr of E.W. Pratt High School sits in the driver’s seat at the controls of a forestry simulator at the High Prairie school May 5.
Grade 11 student Zane St. Cyr of E.W. Pratt High School sits in the driver’s seat at the controls of a forestry simulator at the High Prairie school May 5.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Students considering a career in forestry were in the driver’s seat of a simulator at E.W. Pratt High School the first week of May.

“It gives me a good idea about the equipment in forestry and the controls,” says Zane St. Cyr, a Grade 11 student pursuing a career in the industry.

“It also shows me the dangers that can happen while operating the heavy equipment.”

He was among 13 students from E.W. Pratt and three from Prairie View Outreach. Students completed six hours of instructional time on the simulator brought in by Woodland Operators Learning Foundation, a not-for- profit corporation established in 2001 by Northern Lakes College and forest resource stakeholders.

“It created quite a buzz around the school and we already have a waiting list of a maximum 16 for next year,” says career coach Diane Bellerose.

“We want to expose students to careers in forestry, especially in this region with so many opportunities.”

Students received high school credits for completing the program that made its first visit to Pratt.

Before getting into the driver’s seat, students were required to complete online computer courses in forest protection and stewardship, and research and development related to the industry.

The school will apply for the simulator in 2017.

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