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Davis Journal

Girls with blow torches prove welding is not just for men

Jul 05, 2022 01:12PM ● By Becky Ginos

Althea Carey and Caitlyn Pate weld scrap metal together at a Girls Welding camp at Davis Technical College. The camp was for girls 16 and up and used as a way to introduce them to a field generally dominated by men. Photo by Becky Ginos

KAYSVILLE—The welding shop at Davis Technical College was filled with girls last week using blow torches and scrap metal to create trees, robots and more during a Girls Welding camp sponsored by the school. Welding has typically been a male dominated field but more and more females are finding they can do it too.

“We wanted to reach out to a group that has not been in welding,” said Preston Justensen, welding instructor at DTC. “We took on the program from Weber State and it has been a huge success to expose girls 16 and older to welding.”

Lilly Henry, a junior at Northridge High School, is new to welding. “I've always been interested in working with my hands and creating new things,” she said. “It’s who I am. It’s super different and unique.”

One of Henry’s creations was a tree made out of scrap metal. “We made the tree and then welded the roots of the tree to the base then connected the branches together. We attached the leaves with a blow torch using bronze and steel.”

Henry also made a skateboard dude and a house, she said. “I attached different metal pieces to the house and created a triangle. I also made an airplane and a train.”

The class visited a welding and design company to see first hand how welding can be used. “They had planter boxes using a super modern design,” said Henry. “I could see the artistic side of welding. I could absolutely integrate this into my art. I’d like to try another class at DTC. We have access to some cool programs here. There’s a bunch of things I’d be interested in.”

This class has been a lot of fun, said Eliza Thompson, a 16-year-old at NUAMES. “It’s kind of sad that they had to make it for girls in order for girls to do it. We need to get more girls interested. My friend recommended it but she wouldn’t come because she assumed it would all be guys.”

In addition to the tree, Thompson made a little robot. “They teach us what to do then give us free time,” she said. “We use scrap metal and do whatever we want. We get to do our own thing. I didn’t think I’d like it at first but now I’m thinking it might be a fun hobby.”

“I’ve been welding for the past three years,” said Mikaylee Stitcher, who is from Bingham High but thought the class was worth the drive. “It takes 45 minutes to get here. It seemed like it would be really fun for me to do so I said ‘let’s do it.’ My dad is a mechanic and does auto body so I’ve been welding at my house. I love this, it’s so much fun to me.”

Sisters Erika and Kellie Haddon are new to welding. “They’ve been teaching us basic things like welding pieces of metal together,” said Kellie. “It’s cool to do. I might do welding at home as a hobby. At first fire was kind of scary to me but now learning how it works I’m not scared to do it on my own.”

“I’ve worked as a foreman and I found girls worked better than guys,” said Justensen. “They pay attention to detail and generally women are easier to teach and train how to do this. We’re trying to expose people to hobbies and other things out there.” λ