Joliet West High School STEM Academy students took home top ranks, including first place overall, at the High School Welding Competition held at Joliet Junior College on May 3, 2019. Nick Strasinich finished in first place, and both Max Duarte and Jacob Casey finished in second place.

The students competed against five other schools, with a total of eighty students competing. The competition allowed students to showcase their skills through both a written test and a performance test on Shielded Metal Arc Welding and Oxy-Acetylene Welding. The students were also time-tested on their welds at 20 minutes.

“I’m very proud of my students. They all did a great job,” said Instructor Joe Contreras.

Students in welding classes and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy at JWHS participated in the competition, gaining real-world experience in their chosen career field. In the JTHS Career Academies, students receive an individualized education relevant to their career interests. JTHS academies increase student achievement by offering a small learning environment within a large school setting.