Career and Technical Education

New HVAC Pre-Apprenticeship Program Trains High School Seniors with VR, 3D Simulations

The Pryor High School Innovation Center, located in the MidAmerica Industrial Park at the Rogers State University campus in Pryor, OK, will launch a new, semester-long HVAC pre-apprenticeship this spring for two Pryor High School seniors each semester. The program will use skilled trades learning company Interplay Learning's training platform.

Funded by corporate donations, the HVAC program will engage students in in-person and online training and offer Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship hours and industry certifications, according to a release. The training is designed to take students with no HVAC industry skills to job readiness.

Interplay Learning's training platform is being funded by local sponsors RAE Corporation and MidAmerica Industrial Park. Components of the program include:

  • HVAC fundamentals and safety online video courses;
  • Hands-on 3D troubleshooting simulations;
  • Training with virtual reality;
  • In-person mentorship with an HVAC instructor;
  • Practice of soft skills and theoretical knowledge;
  • Three daily internship hours at the school's maintenance department to learn how to maintain and repair the school's HVAC and electrical systems; and
  • The option to take concurrent classes at Rogers State University.

Students will also be able to sit for the OSHA-10 and EPA 608 exams for industry-recognized certifications, the release said.

Students will receive ongoing support following graduation from the program, the release noted. They will be able to access Interplay's courses and also get personal job referrals with local businesses, including the program's sponsors.

Visit the Innovation Center's HVAC apprenticeship page for more specific program information and a short VR training video.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.