Yuma students excel in welding contest

2013-11-17 19:42:29

Three teams of students from Yuma recently earned some of the top spots in a statewide team fabrication welding contest.

Hosted by Mingus High School at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds in Cottonwood, Ariz.; a total of 10 teams from around the state competed in the 2013 2nd Annual Welding Thunder.

Arizona Western College and Kofa High School teams both received second place in the two-day competition in their respective categories. San Luis High School also participated in the event for the first time.

The teams were challenged to build a smoker/grill using pre-engineered drawings and then tasked with customizing it with pieces fabricated in advance. Each group competed from mobile welding fabrication shops transported to the event by each competing school.

After their grill was complete, students were required to cook lunch for their team and the judges using their newly built project.

“The students and their teachers did an outstanding job representing our community… It was such thrill to see the quality of instruction from Mr. Cabrera (from San Luis High School) shine forth through his students and to see the skill and leadership they demonstrated at the event,” said Sam Colton, AWC professor of Welding.

“Of equal importance was the professional way they went about their work and how positive they were when the American Welding Society team of judges critiqued their welds. I know that the other schools in the state better take notice of San Luis High School welding. Mr. Pixley from Kofa was at the top of his game and all our school from the Yuma area showed the synergy and skill that is being taught in our schools.”

Welding Thunder is part of the Welders Without Borders program, founded by Colton in 2000.

Colton said that this event allows for students to showcase career technical education and demonstrate their readiness to enter the skilled workforce.

“The Welders Without Borders and Welding Thunder program is service centered on youth building through extraordinary events such as this. Where government, industry and individuals come together on behalf of our future; young people,” said Colton. “The spirit of cooperation, mutual respect and good old-fashioned American ‘can do’ attitude shows that the youth of today are up to the task of building America’s future through hard work and innovation.”

Students participating in CTSO (Career Technical Student Organizations) such as SkillsUSA Student Chapters or American Welding Society Student Chapters are invited to participate at this event.

In addition to the American Welding Society volunteering their time and resources to sponsor the event and provide judges; major U.S. welding companies such as Broco-Rankin, ESAB, Victor Technologies, Miller Electric Company, Lincoln Electric Company, CAID Inc. and Arizona welding distributors such as WestAir Gases, Praxair, and Vern Lewis Company provided financial and logistical support to the event.

All donations were received and administered by the AWC Foundation.