Updated: 05/09/2014 9:26 PM
Created: 05/06/2014 2:17 PM KSTP.com
By: Jessica Miles
The sparks are flying in Anoka where a record number of female students are taking welding during high school.
Historically it's a male dominated field, but numbers don't reflect that this year.
The students are in the Anoka Hennepin STEP program. It's like a high school in a college setting where 11th and 12th graders can explore hands-on careers while earning both high school and college credit.
In two classes this spring, six of the 41 students are female. In a class of 20 earlier this year, there were five female students. Ali Steinhauser is one of them.
"I think its pretty cool. I wasn't expecting that many girls to be in the class, makes you feel like you're not really alone," she said.
Welding instructor Bob Sand said female students are beginning to understand this is a career path they can truly do and there are many high paying welding jobs out there. And he says, women are good at it.
"They don't come into the class with any preconceived notion that they know how to do it. They actually listen when you make suggestions to them, they take them and put them into action. They do very, very well," Sand said.
So what do the guys in the class think?
"I think its great that more women are getting into construction, and the technological part of business. Plus, it's also nice to not be around guys the entire day," senior Andrew Larsen said.