Every year Nebo School District’s five high schools rotate the location of the annual Nebo Welding Competition Invitational. This year the competition was held at Spanish Fork High School, and Provo High School was invited to participate.
The students prepare all year and host their own in-house contest to select the three best welders. For the competition, each student receives a blueprint for a “Welding Widget” and a stack of metal. The students are then tested to see if they can follow the plans within the contest guidelines, to create a widget. The welds must be in the proper place while also reaching dimensional accuracy.
“I love the challenge of assembling the individual widgets into one at the end,” First place winner Ben Cornaby from Maple Mountain High School said. “Competing with welders from schools in our school district is always fun!”
In the competition, each of the competitors rotates through several timed stations for welding processes. The processes are OFC (Oxy Fuel Cutting), GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding), FCAW (Flux Cored Arc Welding), SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding), and GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding). Competitors also complete a written test on welding theory.
Landon Wright, a competitor from Maple Mountain High spoke highly of the experience.
“This competition was very fun and challenging,” he said. “I learned a lot about my abilities and the other kids in our district. I am very grateful for our amazing instructors putting on the contest.”
Each school’s top performers are also getting the experience to represent their school and district at the State SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference at the end of March. The State winner will represent Utah at SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Georgia this June.
These contests and preparation help the student welders feel the pressure of executing their best welds when it matters most. When these student welders move on to the workforce, they will not get multiple attempts on a critical weld.
The welding winners for 2023 are as follows:
First Place: Ben Cornaby, MMHS, Second Place: Cinch Sorensen, SFHS,
Third Place, McLayne Balzly, Payson High.
High School Welding Instructors:
Springville High Instructor, Brian Ostler
Maple Mountain High Instructor, Jared Massic
Spanish Fork High Instructor, Riley Hallam
Salem Hills High Instructor, Andy Neeves
Payson High Instructor, Shaun Black. Provo High Instructor, Kaleb Money