Welding competition bonds students - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Welding competition bonds students

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The 3rd annual Northeast Arkansas Weld-a-Thon competition kicked off bright and early Friday morning at the ASU Newport campus in Jonesboro.

Event Coordinator Nick Garner says when he looks back at the small number of students who participated that first year, it's amazing to see how they've grown. "It's grown so much since 2010," Garner said. "We started that year with only 14 students and now we're up to fourteen different schools and over forty students."

Garner says this started three years ago as just an idea. "Ken and I got together and we decided we wanted to do something for the local high schools," Garner stated. "You know, there are no other competitions around this area. And so, we just decided we were going to do it and we got it together and it's taken off."

Paragould High School student Saul Steward says he's no stranger to the NEA Weld-a-Thon competition. "This is my second year to come," Steward said. "I love it. It's a great competition. I won last year. I got second place and my brother got first place so, it's in the family I guess."

Garner says the students take away a variety of life skills by competing in this competition. "They get a sense of being able to work as a team for one thing," Garner said. "A lot of these kids go to different competitions so this is a good stepping stone for them to learn what they need when they go to these competitions."

Garner says the competition is a chance to expose students to what options are out there and waiting on them. "It's a great learning opportunity," Garner said. "They get to come out here and not only do they get to work together and build a project, but they get to see a lot of the new equipment and technology that's coming out in the welding field."

For additional information about the Weld-a-Thon competition, log onto this site.

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