Co-Op Student of the Week

Week of January 20, 2019

Student: Arielle Ainabe, grade 12

Placement: Online Research Co-op

For the online research Co-op I am responsible for designing my own study. With some guidance from my mentor, I came up with my own research question and methods for how to answer it. On a day to day basis, I am responsible for accomplishing the goals that I set for myself and finding research papers to help me continue my numerical analysis. My research looks at using polymer nanocomposites with boron nitride nanotubes to protect astronauts from space radiation.

I think that the most important skills that I have learned are how to tackle solving an engineering problem. For example, you could do it the expensive way and do trial and error in a lab, or if you don’t have the resources (like me) you can do theoretical models and potentially test them in a cheaper way later.

I have also learned how to read research papers and get the information I need to analyze data. For instance, I am calculating properties such as radiation protection of a material and I need to look at how it has already been done in other studies so I can use it in my own.

For me, space research was always in the horizon, but it did not seem like a viable option until I did this Co-op. I have learned the diversity of science in space technology and I am now applying to programs in university that offer aerospace engineering and/or engineering physics. These degrees can help me to pursue a career in space engineering or another STEM field where innovative technology is needed.

Previous Co-Op Students of the Week

Week of January 13, 2019

Student: Anas Al-Udayli, grade 11

Placement:  ATA Architects Inc.

Anas is completing his placement at ATA Architects located in south Oakville. The firm provides services in architecture, urban design, heritage planning, interior design, and project management.

My roles and responsibilities at ATA included phoning companies to ask for catalogues, prices, and product samples, communicating with administration, supervising, helping clients, filling project specifications, editing project sheets, and completing design projects using Revit, an industry standard modelling software. I was involved in two design projects, designing the boardroom in the office and designing a store in Upper Canada Mall. I was given the specifications and had to design the space using Revit. I learned how to design things such as cabinets, tables, windows and doors, how to render designs, extend elements, how to read designs and use my artistic skills to provide creative solutions to design problems.

From this placement, I have learned that it is important to be able to communicate, ask questions, approach each task with a positive attitude, work in a professional manner, take pride in your work and have fun while doing it.

Week of December 23, 2018

Student: Rayan Rashid, Grade 11

Placement:  Wentworth Halton X-Ray and Ultrasound

I work at the front desk as a receptionist and I also observe x-rays and ultrasounds. As a receptionist, I deal with many different patients from young to old.  I assist by by reminding them of their appointments, booking their appointments, and burning procedure images onto discs. As a receptionist, important skills I have learned are communication, multitasking, and problem solving. Examples include: being able to speak with patients clearly and in a friendly manner, answering general questions they may have, and switching between tasks quickly and efficiently.  

I also help by delivering or faxing out reports to doctors. For x-ray and ultrasound, my main task is to observe, ask questions, and learn.  My observation skills have improved greatly as I now ask more questions and understand what I am observing.

Co-op has definitely helped me in establishing my career choice of going into health sciences. I love helping people and Co-op has given me this opportunity to help people in need of health care.

Week of December 16, 2018

Student: Mya Sahi, Grade 11

Placement:  Captain R. Wilson P.S.

I am working as a teacher’s assistant in a grade two classroom. My daily responsibilities include helping a student on the autism spectrum keep focus throughout the day, with things such as writing the morning agenda note and completing writing worksheets. I also check agenda notes for completion everyday. As my focus in the classroom is on the literacy curriculum, I am working with four at risk readers in the class and keeping records of their everyday reading growth. I help with the at home reading book exchange twice a week, by keeping the students organized and ensuring they are picking books matching their reading levels. My other tasks include helping to prep for future crafts and activities, drawing anchor charts, as well as marking work and tests. I have also started teaching some lessons, reading to the class as a whole, and leading discussion questions afterwards. I am continuing to grow my lesson planning skills for future lessons on nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

The most important skill I have learned is to have patience. It can take time for some of the students to show evidence of growth in reading so I must have patience for them to reach higher levels. I’ve also learned patience by working with students who take longer to grasp concepts of uppercase letters and the use of punctuation as well as students who take longer to focus. Patience is an important skill for me to have learned because in grade two the children are obtaining the building blocks for their future learning and therefore I want to be sure they understand fully.  

My Co-op placement has helped me determine that I enjoy teaching and really enjoy the age group I am working with. It has encouraged me to look into teaching as a career path, as well as other careers working with children like that of a social worker.

Week of December 9, 2018

Student: Alanoud Alhalis, Grade 12

Placement:  Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmacy)

I work in the filling section at the pharmacy. I print the prescriptions, search for them, scan them, and enter the expiry date of each drug.  I then count pills, either manually or by using the pill counting machine. I have also done research about the basic drugs that can be found in the aisles, OTC (over-the-counter), and fast movers (drugs that are regularly prescribed to patients). Doing research has given me a better understanding as to what each drug is used for. I also watch how the pharmacists prepare a compound from two different products and I can relate this to what I learned in chemistry class. Lastly, I learned how to put certain creams in specific jars. For example, I have to put a specific cream in a 250g jar and it has to look nice when the customer first opens it.

This placement has taught me how to focus on tasks and pay close attention to details. The most important thing is to finish tasks properly, without any mistakes and not to finish tasks quickly; quality over quantity.

Co-op has enabled me to experience the field of pharmacy as I plan on studying this in university. I enjoy the team work atmosphere at the pharmacy. This makes the tasks I am doing very satisfying as I know I am contributing to the team.

Week of December 2, 2018

Student: Jessica Pierce, Grade 12

Placement:  Credit Valley Hospital (Trillium Health Partners)

I am doing my placement at Credit Valley Hospital in the Neurology clinic and the Outpatient Physiotherapy clinic.  In the Neurology clinic, I open the clinic treatment rooms and run the clinic by booking follow-up appointments and greeting patients. I also enter patient records into the hospital system, make calls to remind patients about their appointment and pre-register patients using the referral from the family doctor. All these tasks are important in their own right and vital to the function of the Neurology clinic.  In the Outpatient Physiotherapy clinic, I shadow the physiotherapists in the rehabilitation classes. I also discharge patients after they have finished their physiotherapy classes and schedule patients for their preoperative total knee and total hip replacement classes.

I have learned that it is important to take your time and pay attention to details when completing all of the above tasks. I always take the initiative to look for ways to help in both clinics as this is a way to learn as much as I possibly can.

My career goal is to become a neurosurgeon because I love the idea of doing surgery which is more hands on. I feel like the brain is such a complex organ and it is so important to our bodily functions. To be able to be an expert on the brain is something that I would aspire to be, so I like the fact that I get to interact with the doctors specializing in specific areas of neurology giving me some insight into this discipline.

Week of November 25, 2018

Student: Kiana Martin, Grade 12

Placement:  Online Research Co-Op

I am involved in an online research Co-op where I have selected the topic of food dependent exercise induced anaphylaxis as my focus of study. I am working with a mentor who is a graduate student and whose passion revolves around health, research, and equity. The main tasks that I need to complete on a weekly basis include conducting research on my topic using specific search strategies to narrow down searches in various databases, reading and summarizing articles, as well as communicating with my mentor frequently. By the end of the term, I will have prepared a full research paper based on my findings throughout the semester. This paper could possibly be published in the Journal of Student Science and Technology.

Some of the most important skills I have learned include the summarization skills I have developed after summarizing numerous articles. I’ve also learned helpful tips on how to save time and effectively navigate databases and find the desired information I am searching for.

I think this Co-op is very beneficial for my future pathway as all the most important skills I have learned can be applied to future research projects/papers I will most likely have to write in post secondary school. The work I’m doing right now in my Co-op is good practice so that by the time I am in university/college, I will be familiar on how to gather and conduct research for my assignments.

Week of November 18, 2018

Student: Aanya Gosrani, Grade 11

Placement:  Chartwell Waterford Retirement Residence

I am doing my placement at Chartwell Waterford Retirement Residence working with both the independent living and memory living floors.  My main tasks are helping out during breakfast by bringing residents their breakfast and guiding them to the living room afterwards for a planned activity.  I work with nurses, volunteers, and recreational therapists by participating in activities which include crosswords, knitting, painting, and sing-a-longs. I have also been gathering information by interviewing patients to create patient profiles and planning the activities for the month.

Some important skills I have learned include how to communicate with the residents in an approachable and friendly way and to speak very clearly and effectively as the majority of the residents are suffering from hearing loss. In addition, I have learned how to use and help residents who require a walker or a cane as they may have muscle problems.

This Co-op has helped me realize I really enjoy working with people and love interacting with the residents. It has guided me to pursue a career in the area of health sciences.

Week of November 11, 2018

Student: Ramiz Salman

Placement:  Signarama

I am doing my placement at Signarama. The company makes custom-made signs, banners and decals for buildings, vehicles and more. My main tasks and responsibilities require excellent time management skills to ensure the signs customers have ordered are completed on time. I show attention to detail and concentrate on all of the steps in the process (i.e. weeding, masking, and applying) when making signs for companies and personal use (e.g. home address).  I have also done some graphic design, creating signs, and business cards on the computer.

I have learned how to work as a team and actively listen to detailed instructions for each job. Co-op has taught me to set goals and has given me employability skills I can transfer to my desired future career in the aviation industry.

Week of November 4, 2018

Student: Abbie Orr, Grade 11

Placement:  Upper Oakville Pet Hospital

I am doing my placement at Upper Oakville Pet Hospital. My roles/responsibilities include cleaning the surgery room, helping prep the surgical instruments, stocking up on surgery needs (syringes, solutions, gauzes, towels, etc.), assisting the vet techs, observing the doctor in appointments, cleaning exam counters and cages after patient use, and taking patients out for walks and bathroom breaks.  In addition, I unpack deliveries and complete end of the day chores such as vacuuming.

I think the most important skill I have learned being at an animal hospital is to always be prepared and to be ready for anything. You have to be attentive because you are responsible for animals. Animals are unpredictable and you need to concentrate on what you are doing at all times.  In addition, it is important to ask questions. I am comfortable asking questions as this way I am learning and making sure I complete tasks effectively and efficiently.

Ever since I was a young child, I have wanted to be a vet.  When I started horseback riding at the age of seven, I was around horses and other farm animals, including barn cats and dogs. Working at Upper Oakville Pet Hospital has given me the opportunity to interact with cats, dogs, and other smaller animals in a medical/more complex manner. I have learned about how things work in surgery and post surgery. I have my post-secondary goals planned out and I still want to do something with horses. This placement has helped me develop an understanding of what I will be studying in the future and what a career in veterinary medicine involves.

Week of October 28, 2018

Student: Ayesha Khokhar, Grade 11

Placement:  Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital

I am currently working on the Inpatient Rehabilitation floor. There, my main tasks/responsibilities include helping out during lunch (bringing the food trays to the patients, helping them open packages, if necessary, etc. Additionally, I assist the recreational therapist, nurses, and volunteers on the floor by helping run daily activities for the patients, such as arts and crafts, sing-a-longs, baking, and much more!  With that, I help transport patients to and from their rooms to come to the activities, as well as spend some one-on-one time with the patients during the activities. Sometimes, another Co-op student and I bring patients down to the main lobby and gift shop so that they can get out of their rooms for a bit and explore the rest of the hospital.

Some important skills I have learned include how to transport patients in wheelchairs properly and how to interact with the patients in a polite, professional, and friendly manner. Additionally, I have learned the importance of being patient and communicating effectively, as some patients have hearing loss so it’s important to be aware of that and to act accordingly.

This Co-op has taught me that I genuinely enjoy working with other people and love interacting with patients. It has reaffirmed my interest in the health sciences and the desire to pursue a career in that field.

Week of October 21, 2018

Student: Samera Al-Kofahi, Grade 12

Placement:  West Oak Public School

Samera is working with Life Skills classes at West Oak Public School.  

“I work one on one with four to five students who range from high to low functioning on math and reading. Many of the children have trouble staying on task and focusing so I reinforce their tasks and help them get through it. I also supervise the students during break and play with them.”

“I learned how to deal with the behaviors of different students. For example, one of the students can be hyper and has an extremely hard time focusing and listening.  When he doesn’t listen, I ignore him and when he has trouble focusing, I talk to him in a firm voice and keep him on track. You also have to be very patient because of the different levels the students are at. I learned why students may have an episode. When a student has an episode and doesn’t listen, we need to stay calm.”

“Co-op has taught me that I do want to go into Psychology. I love working one on one with the students. I love learning about their behaviours, how to deal with them and how to help them.”