Sussex Technical High School offered an opportunity for six area Boy Scouts to earn the Welding Merit Badge during its annual eighth-grade open house Nov. 3. Sussex Tech welding instructors Jim Friedel and Mark Abbott conducted the class. Six scouts spent the morning in the automotive collision repair shop at Sussex Tech receiving the instruction.
Boy Scouts of America introduced the welding merit badge in February 2012. Scouts earning their welding merit badge can not only explore the fundamentals of welding, but also learn about the different career paths within the industry. Part of the course required the scouts to explore three career opportunities in the welding industry. They then picked one and researched the education, training and experience required for this profession. They also had to discuss the role of the American Welding Society in the welding profession.
Local Boy Scouts participating in the class were Robert Marsh, Connor Weaver, Drew Fox, Sean Davis, Chris Fox and Quinn Humes. Sussex Tech School District Business Director Dr. Ed Seibert organized the program between the scouts and the school.
Teaching scouts safety requirements was highlighted during the class. Scouts were taught first aid for, and the prevention of, injuries or illnesses that could occur while welding, including electrical shock, eye injuries, burns, fume inhalation, dizziness, skin irritation and exposure to hazardous chemicals, including filler metals and welding gases.
Scouts were also required to explain industry terms such as welding, electrode, slag and oxidation. They had to describe the welding process, how heat is generated, what kind of filler metal is added, and what protects the molten metal from the atmosphere. The scouts then had to do hands-on training and successfully complete six welding processes.
Welding is the latest of a new group of career-oriented merit badges.