High School Students Make Connections to College Life 


They may only be midway through their Grade 9 year, but for a group of 60 DSBN high school students it’s never too early to think about the future.  

The students, from Laura Secord, Stamford Collegiate and Welland Centennial, recently spent a day at Niagara College’s Welland Campus to see first-hand how the work they’re doing in class will prepare them for the rigors of college life.  

“Students had the opportunity to see three different programs at the College; automotive, culinary and pharmacy,” said Fred Louws, DSBN Student Achievement Leader.  

Louws said the purpose of the visit was to show the students how the Grade 9 math curriculum ties into programs offered at the postsecondary level. 

“Math is more than what you do in math class,” added Louws. “It can be applied to most aspects of everyday life, everything from managing personal finances to determining the proper measurements for cooking and home improvements. Math is also an essential tool for the workplace. By visiting Niagara College, our students were able to see concrete examples of how important math is to their future.”  

Those considering a career in auto mechanics were given an opportunity to get up close and personal with an engine block in the College’s automotive classroom.  

Students were tasked with calculating the piston displacement of the engine, which is an important factor in determining the overall horsepower of the car. Armed with their rulers, students diligently measured the cylinders and plugged that information into a variety of different formulas to determine the volume of the cylinders and ultimately, the displacement.  

In the culinary exercise, students had to build and cost out a simple dish that could be served in a restaurant. If an establishment does a poor job of calculating its costs, profitability will suffer.  The students taking on this challenge worked with fractions, percentages, measurements and conversions.  

When working with medication, giving patients the proper dosage can literally be a matter of life and death. Students learned about what a pharmacy technician does and how to read and fill prescriptions. They had to use their knowledge on ratios, proportions and conversions to determine the appropriate dosage for fictional patients.  

“It was really interesting to see how you can use math in real life situations,” said one student. “It definitely motivates me to learn more.” 


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