(RED OAK) – Texas State Technical College is giving area high school welders a chance to put their skills to the test at its welding competition Saturday, May 5. More than 40 students from nine area schools will compete in the contest beginning at 8 a.m.
TSTC welding instructor David Reed said he hopes the contest will pique interest in the North Texas campus.
“We’re bringing in juniors and seniors for the competition,” Reed said. “It’s a friendly game. We bring them out here and showcase the instructors, our welding lab, TSTC in North Texas — it’s a win-win.”
Reed said they asked the participating schools to create a school crest to be judged at the competition.
“Ahead of time, they are supposed to manufacture these before the competition, according to certain parameters,” he said. “It shows school pride for them.”
Alvin Adams, also a TSTC welding instructor, said students will have a few different welds to do and will also compete in a cutting contest.
“They’ll be doing a 1-2-3F — that’s fillet welds,” Adams said. “One, two and three are different positions. That represents the position of the weld. They’ll be doing a 1-2-3V-groove weld also. Then we’re going to have the cutting contest.”
In the cutting round, students will be judged on uniformity, dross (residue left behind in the melting process of metals) and speed. Each contest is staged in rounds.
“From each discipline, we will be giving a first-, second- and third-place medal,” Adams said. “As we go, we’ll go through the process of elimination.”
Students will compete individually, but schools will earn a team trophy for first, second and third place overall.
The Northeast Texas Blacksmith Association will also be attending the event.
“Several of the founding members from their club will be here with furnaces and anvils, hammering out metal,” Reed said. “I’ll be out there myself because a lot of my students enjoy watching the artistic work. I’ll be making roses out of single pieces of rebar and be demonstrating to the students. If there are students who want to, they’ll be able to come up and hammer out some metal with myself and the other smiths.”
Reed hopes students will not only learn to work together, but also be able to see where they stand among their peers in a welding environment.
“A lot of people from small ag shops think they weld really well, but they get out to these competitions and they say, ‘Man, I need to step up my game’ or ‘Wow, we did really well. This validates our program here.’ And TSTC will further complement the program that they have,” Reed said.
TSTC is registering now for the fall semester. The last day to register is Monday, Aug. 20, and classes begin Monday, Aug. 27.
For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.