The Harper Campus Welding department, along with students from the American Welding Society, hosted the 2nd Annual Welding Merit Badge Workshop for the Mecklenburg County Council BSA on Saturday, March 14th. A total of 27 Boy Scouts earned their Welding merit badge. Requirements included safety hazards and first aid, appropriate safety gear, welding terminology, mechanical and thermal cutting methods, selecting a welding process, performing welds with the equipment, and career opportunities. Each Scout went home to their Troop with an eagle sculpture that they personally completed, as well as a completed merit badge blue card.
Welding is a relatively new STEM related subject added to the century old tradition of merit badges, and since it’s introduction in late 2012 has already become one of the most popular activities, with 11,061 Scouts earning the badge in 2014. David Langdon, the incoming President of the American Welding Society, and a recent visitor and guest speaker at Harper Campus, was one of the authors of the merit badge guide.
14 volunteers, including students, staff, and faculty members were here for support – giving up not just a weekend, but part of their spring break for a service-learning project. The volunteers included: American Welding Society club officers Eric Navarette, Chris Salley, Paige Hoose, plus Jason Blanchett, Joe Miller, Roxy Aleman and Simon Brown; Full Time Welding Instructor and AWS club advisor Ray Sosko; Full Time Instructional Lab Facilitator Rich Davis; Full Time Staff members Denise Strange and Randy Hellinger; and Part Time Welding Instructors Michael Scott and Brian Lucas. Priscilla Kay, Lab Facilitator from Graphic Arts & Imaging Technology, also helped with arrangements. Special thanks to dedicated Scouter and welding expert Paul Summers, SCWI from Chicago Bridge & Iron, one of our corporate partners. I cannot thank them all enough for making this possible.
John McPherson, CPCC Welding Instructor
Mecklenburg County Council/Lincoln Electric
Welding Champion and Welding Merit Badge Counselor
The American Welding Society (AWS) is a student organization housed at the Harper Campus and includes students currently enrolled in the Welding certificate and/or degree programs. They often participate in community service work and have competed in local and regional welding competitions. The AWS enhances awareness of the art and science of welding, and how it affects our daily lives. If you are interested in learning more about the student club, please contact Ray Sosko (Club Advisor).