Projects ranging from auto detailing to paraffin wax demonstrations were in focus Thursday during an Oswego County BOCES open house event on the Mexico campus.
Teachers highlighted their class offerings and students showcased their work during the two-hour event, which gave visitors some insight into the programs and services that BOCES provides.
Courses including cosmetology, culinary arts, public justice and safety, auto body and nursing were just a handful of the options in the spotlight.
A live airbrushing demonstration was one of the highlights of the open house for those who stopped by Rich Rainville’s classroom. Representatives from Lincoln Tech – an educational institution providing hands-on training with a focus on career-specific technical skills – were on hand for the demonstration.
Don Dana, a self-taught auto detailer whose work for the Fulton Speedway’s Eve of Destruction III will appear in “American Daredevils” on the History Channel, transformed a gray car hood into a patriotic work of art during the open house. Surrounded by a crowd of parents and students, Dana discussed the importance of hands-on training.
“It’s not just about learning, it’s about actually doing,” he said as he used dagger and fade strokes with the airbrush to create his masterpiece.
For Rainville, the hands-on learning model is a staple of the auto body program, which has translated into success for many of his students who are currently employed in the industry.
“They have the opportunity to go to work when they’re done with this program,” Rainville said. “We actually have a former student (Ashtyn Garrison) who does all the detailing at Alan Byer Volvo.”
As Dana put the finishing touches on the hood, student John LaFlamme displayed an auto body class logo he created, which will be printed on the front of shirts and distributed to students enrolled in the course.
“It’s a 1969 Mach 1,” LaFlamme said of the car he used in the centerpiece of his design. “I was talking to my dad about design ideas, and this one fit.”
As the auto body garage was bustling with visitors, students and parents flooded into other classrooms as well. In the exceptional education wing, guests were greeted by a trail of paper shoes on the floor leading to different rooms, playing off the department’s theme: walk a mile in their shoes. In the cosmetology classrooms, students did paraffin wax demonstrations, dipping their parent’s hands into hot wax to soften their hands.
Regardless of the course, visitors and teachers alike said they were impressed by the students’ work.
“These events are really just a way to get kids and families more involved,” Rainville said. “(We try to create) any opportunity for the kids.”