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New tools for school
Arctic College's donation to go a long way for Iqaluit shop class

Peter Worden
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 4, 2013

It's important to have the right tool for the right job, and now students in Mr. Bacon's shop class have a whole whack of them.

Trent Bacon is the shop teacher at Aqsarniit Ilinniarvik middle school where, every September to June, 300 students take the required course.

"We had limited tools before," he said. "With the number of students going through the program we found ourselves having to pass around the tools - when some students were done one project, other students could start another one. That sort of thing."

On Dec. 20, Christmas came early at the middle school as Arctic College donated a full complement of equipment - everything from a Makita chop saw to a portable compressor, nailer, sander, screw drivers chisels, hammers, toolbelts and safety equipment.

"The tools will help to enhance the programs we have," said Bacon, explaining that grades 6 to 8 work on mostly traditional projects such as drying racks, ulu holders and blueprints and frames of doghouses. The donated equipment, thanks to a working partnership between Aqsarniit Ilinniarvik and Arctic College, gives students the right tools to learn new skills.

"Classroom academics can be tough and stationary, and a lot of students like to get up and move around so (shop class) exposes another area of school that can be very enjoyable," said Bacon who, before teaching, spent years on a career path in construction. "What we want to do is teach kids that these skills don't have to start and end at the school. It can turn into a career path."

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