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Trigonometry and Welding

web posted March 19, 2014

JOHNSTON – “How are you doing in trigonometry?” asked Steven Mattson, a guest speaker at the Strom Thurmond Career and Technology Center’s Welding Technology program. “If all you can do is lay a bead, you are a `rod burner.’ ” Mattson’s message to the STCTC welding students - “To make it in our industry you have to have the academic skills in order to advance.” Mattson explained that the new technology in welding incorporates microprocessors in the welding machines, using complex mathematical skills, reading manuals, understanding blueprints, and working well with others.

Mattson works as a technical sales representative for Lincoln Electric. “I like to bring in people from industry to speak with my students” explained welding teacher, Bill Cheatham. “The kids pay attention to successful professionals in the field.” Mattson told the students that in major construction projects across America you see the same faces. “It’s like a club and if you are not competent, you are not invited back.”

Mattson also encouraged the students to have a plan in life and to make good decisions. “In our industry drugs and criminal records are career stoppers” cautioned Mattson. A highly skilled pipefitter can make over $125,000 dollars a year. The most successful professionals in the welding field today have degrees instead of certificates.

Cheatham’s next guest speaker is slated to be Greg Yonce, the chair of the Math Department at Strom Thurmond High School. “Yonce will show my students the math involved in pipe fitting and it will be a good experience for Greg’s students to actually see real life applications of the concepts they learn in class” explained Cheatham. “Bringing the two programs together will answer the question students have asked for years `When will I use this math in my life?’” joked Mr. Yonce. 

Pictured above: Steven Mattson demonstrates Fluxcore welding process to Welding Technology II students.
Front Row: Bubba Locklier, Tori Lazenby, William Cambell, Hunter Borden, Bryan Ashley, Chris Henderson Back Row: Johnathon Quarles, Caleb Hoffman

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