Local high school students visit Cowbell - March 29, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM) students from four area secondary schools visited Blyth Cowbell Brewing Company on March 22 and March 26 to learn about the advancements that went into constructing the company’s facility on the south end of the village.
Experiential Learning Co-ordinator Jodi Froud explained that both the Avon Maitland District School Board and Cowbell were happy with how the day progressed.
“The students really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun,” she said.
Froud was at both days. On Friday, students from Goderich District Collegiate Institute (GDCI) and F.E. Madill School attended Cowbell. Students were split into groups which toured the grounds, learning about economic development, hospitality, tourism and carbon neutral and closed-loop environmental initiatives resulting in energy and water efficiencies.
Prior to lunch, a special career panel was held where Cowbell professionals outlined their education, pathway to work experience, Cowbell responsibilities and interview skills and the aspects of the company that are unique thanks to their efforts.
“In the afternoon, students were put into small groups and told to think about all the things they learned during the tours,” Froud said. “They were instructed to take pictures and keep track of different features that highlighted sustainability, the vision of Cowbell and the importance of community in the business. In small groups, they were instructed to put together a proposal of what the natural amphitheatre where cowbell would host three to five events a year would look like.”
Students were instructed to keep in mind that the amphitheatre would be temporary and natural and would have to keep in mind considerations for accessibility as well as the nearby community of Blyth, keeping in mind things like noise levels and parking.
“Each group did a presentation, and each group had their own way of showing what they had worked on,” Froud said. “Some had slide shows with pictures, others had used an app to animate their presentation and others had sketched out the amphitheatre. It was pretty incredible.”
Froud explained that the students taking part in the visit were from various SHSM programs. Madill’s students, for example, were from the construction SHSM program.
The collaboration was spearheaded by Cheryl Peach, a former educator who is now one of Cowbell’s chief storytellers, a group of tour guides educated in all the green technologies at the site.
“I had read about the features Cowbell had,” Froud said. “I knew they were looking to be carbon-neutral.”
The SHSM teachers with the Avon Maitland District School Board were looking for opportunities to connect students with local businesses to meet curriculum requirements and Cowbell fit the bill, Froud said.
She said students found the program worthwhile, referencing the opportunity as a unique chance to learn about the overall social consciousness Cowbell exhibits.