Reaching a new kind of student

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The American Boat and Yacht Council said it will be reaching a new segment of educators with an upcoming “train the trainer” event at its headquarters in Annapolis, Md. The three-day Marine Service Technology: Educator Training Conference will be held July 23-25.

ABYC president John Adey said the conference has attracted registrants from 15 states, as well as the Virgin Islands and Canada. “We’re thrilled with the range of instructors who have signed up to be students,” Adey told Trade Only Today. “Typically, I know a number of the students in our seminars, but I don’t know any of these folks. That means we are reaching an entirely new audience to promote our workforce development initiatives.”

Participants will range from high-school and post-secondary instructors who have been teaching marine tech for years, Adey said, to “some who are just thinking about it now.”

ABYC has long held training and certification programs for individual techs and has also developed a “marine league” of 16 schools in the last eight years that follow ABYC curriculum and standards. The association has also created a fundamentals of marine service technology course, working with the National Occupational Training Institute as a third-party to set up the course examinations.

“It’s a very similar program to our professional certification and essentially provides a curriculum in a box from ABYC for students,” Adey said. “But it has not enabled us to get a hold of the marine instructors.”

Adey said that many administrators and teachers from high schools and technical schools prefer to do summer learning sessions as a way of advancing their knowledge about specific trades, especially for new trades, such as marine. ABYC decided the most effective way to do this is with the educator training conference.

Topics during the three-day conference include the evolution of tech ed and the modern student, shop stocking, layout and safety, creating and managing a curriculum advisory committee, the ABYC high school and tech school textbook and curriculum, and the Evinrude outboard program. “It also includes hands-on training aids that bring complicated concepts to life,” Adey said.

“This is the first of what we hope will become an annual event to support instructors from around the country, and beyond, who can make or break the future of boating,” said Margaret Podlich of ABYC Foundation, who has helped set up the event. “These are the people who are going to get the next generation focused, trained and running into our industry.”

Adey said that next year’s event will be even more comprehensive, including setting up engine bays in the lower part of ABYC’s headquarters using new Evinrude outboards. This year’s sponsors include Evinrude, PowerProducts, Imtra, the National Marine Electronics Association, Safe Harbor Marinas and West Marine PRO.


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