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Welding Classes Combine for Industry Competition

Three Students stand behind a small blue statue they created Two students wearing heavy gloves and thick green protective gear smooth metal on a grinder



Students from Islip Career Center (ICC) and the Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology at Milliken Technical Center (MTC) joined together to compete in a welding competition hosted by AWISCO, a welding supply shop based in Maspeth, NY. The competition was extended to regional trade schools around New York City and Long Island to see who could build the best representation of their mascot, Burn-E, a small blue robot made out of welding supplies. ICC is an Eastern Suffolk BOCES school that provides special career education services to students with special needs. The skills students acquire at ICC may enable them to obtain entry-level employment in certain industries. The Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology is the Career and Technical Education Program of Eastern Suffolk BOCES and has schools in Bellport, Oakdale, and Riverhead.

The two welding classes partnered not only with each other but with the ICC Graphics Arts class to create a vinyl wrap that would cover the model with the correct logos and colors.  The project taught students how to work as a team, and how to work with students from other specialties to reach a common goal.

“When you’re working on a big project, you have to work with a lot of different people,” Taylor Terhaar, welding teacher at ICC, said. “People can offer more experience or different skills. We’re teaching our students on how to communicate what they need – and how to ask for help from people who can provide another resource.”

The welding competition was held in conjunction with AWISCO’s trade show in Maspeth, New York. Sculptures from the different trade schools were on display, and the best was selected by voting through text message by trade show guests.  After voting closed, the statue created by the Eastern Suffolk BOCES students came in third place, earning the Welding Program $500 in welding equipment.

The students were able to see their work on display when they visited the trade show themselves for a class field trip.


A large group of people stand around a small blue statue.

The combined MTC and ICC teams stand with the Burn-E statue in the background.