Students Get a Taste of Australia

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Students in the world cultures class at Hardin Middle School got a taste of Australian culture on Tuesday when they sampled Vegemite, a spread made from brewers’ yeast extract.

Justin Biggs, a public diplomacy officer for the Australian Consulate in Chicago, visited three in St. Charles School District on this week and gave students a sample of the salty spread, popular in Australia.

“My daughter eats it every day for breakfast,” he said.

Several students wrinkled their noses after tasting Vegemite. But they had questions for Biggs, who has lived in the US since 2000, about differences in between the US and Australia.

“What do you think of when you think of Australia? Everyone thinks of the outback, of our animals,” he said. “But we live in cities, big major cities with millions of people in them.”

Biggs also highlighted the history of the country, which was settled by convicts, and what life is like for Australian kids. Students go to school from February to early December, breaking for the summer for several weeks.

“Regardless of their age in Australia, kids play sport,” he said. “As we grow up the majority of our population grows up on the coast; it’s essential that we know how to swim.”

He said that in Australia, people continue playing sports in local leagues into adulthood.

Biggs is one of several speakers who have visited classes in the St. Charles School District through the Partners in Education (PIE) program this year. Ruth Guffey, PIE facilitator, works with teachers to bring speakers to complement different units of study.

Learn more about Partners in Education here.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology Program

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Earn a certificate in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology in one year for less than $1,000.

Classes meet in the evenings on Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.

The program offers a mix of theory and hands-on training designed to simulate skills needed to succeed in this field.

Click here to register for HVAC classes, which are offered in January and August.

St. Charles Adult and Community Education: Welding Technology

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Skilled welders are in high demand in the St. Louis area. St. Charles Adult and Community Education now offers a welding technology program that will prepare students for a career in the welding industry.

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 ”Right now I’ve got three jobs for every graduate,” said Welding Instructor Rick Massey.  ”We are cost- effective way to get someone in at an entry level.”

 The courses are fast-paced and cover a range of topics in a few weeks. Curriculum  includes fundamentals of  arc welding, plasma cutting, certification procedures, MIG  and dual shield  flux cored welding, TIG (GTAW)  welding equipment with use of carbon  steel and aluminum.

Students who complete the courses are prepared to take and pass a welding test, a prerequisite for getting a job. Graduates of the program have gone on to work at local factories. Companies in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren Counties often work with staffing agencies to find trained employees for welding jobs, Massey said.

Jobs in the welding industry are expected to increase 15 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics.

St. Charles Adult and Community Education Welding Technology Classes

  • Arc Welding I (prerequisite for other courses)
  • Arc Welding II
  • MIG and Flux-Cored Welding
  • TIG Welding

Welding courses are offered in the spring and fall. Tuition is $399 for each 12-week class.

Registration for fall 2014 classes will open July 28. Register online.