Spring is always a busy time for events and meetings. The state SkillsUSA Championships are going on across the country. I spent the day this past Friday at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta viewing the competition. Shumate Mechanical provided all the judges for the HVACR competition. I was very impressed by the way they interacted with the students encouraging and teaching them. Kudos to Shumate for going out of their way to help with the SkillsUSA Contest. I was also impressed by the poise and professionalism of all the contestants. It is not easy to work under a microscope with judges and spectators peering at you while you work. They only had 18 minutes to complete each task, adding to the stress level. But despite these pressures, they all held up admirably. Along the way, the students competing learn more than HVACR skills, they learn something about themselves. Taking up the challenge and seeing it through requires a lot of effort above and beyond the normal demands of most HVACR programs. I was very proud of the preparation and hard work Keith Watermann from my program put into the competition and his hard work showed. The winners of the state contests will meet in Kansas City later this summer June 19-24 for the national championships.
The National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference starts Sunday, March 20th in Las Vegas. However, if you are not registered already you will miss it because it is sold out. I spoke with Howard Weiss, and he said he hated to keep people out, but they have reached the maximum number of people the fire code will allow in the room! If you are lucky enough to be registered, be sure and say hello to David Skaves, my writing partner on Fundamentals of HVACR. He will be at the Pearson booth and he will be speaking at 9:15 on Monday on Strategies for Connecting with Today’s Student in the Age of Electronics.
If you missed the Las Vegas show, you can still catch the HVACR & Mechanical Instructor’s Workshop in Landsdowne, Virginia at the National Conference Center. This longest running HVACR Instructor’s workshop was started by ARI and today is supported by an impressive list of industry heavy hitters including AHRI, ACCA, ACTE, CARE, HARDI, HRAI, NAOHSM, NATE, PHCC, RSES, SkillsUSA. It is March 23-25 and there is still room. It is too late to register online, but you can still register at the Conference Center. The Conference is free if you stay at the National Conference Center. There is a $65 per day fee if you are staying elsewhere. Freddie Williams will be there at the Pearson booth. He is the author of the MyHVACLab material. Freddie is the man to talk to if you have questions about using online material in your program. Besides being the author of MyHVACLab, he has extensive experience with both Blackboard and Angel. If you cannot go to anything this year, just remember next January to start planning your strategy for attending one of these events. It does take some planning, but it is worth the effort.