Cool high school students taking to refrigeration

Students in the Sequim High School engineering technology class run by Bill Seabolt, far right, show their certificates for passing the core exam to become licensed refrigeration technicians. Those who passed are, from left, August Larue, 15; Nickolas Haugstad, 18; Randy Hogoboom, 16; Nick Kovach, 14; and Atraue Wallis, 14. Haugstad is licensed as a technician through types I and II. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Technology class aims to become licensed technicians


Five high schoolers have taken their engineering technology studies on refrigeration to the next level. Sequim High School students Randy Hogoboom, 16; Nick Kovach, 14; August Larue, 15; and Atraue Wallis, 14, passed the core level test for licensed certified refrigeration technicians. Senior Nickolas Haugstad, 18, passed the core tests to become a licensed technician through type I and II.

“These students have studied material far beyond high school level,” said Bill Seabolt, engineering technology teacher.

“They have done after-school study groups and worked on their own.”

Students took a test to determine what kind of refrigeration they can work on. Type I certification  is for small appliances of less than 5 pounds charge; Type II is for high to very high pressure appliances using more than 5 pounds charge; Type III is for low-pressure appliances, mostly centrifugal compressors; and Type lV is for “universal certification.”

Seabolt emphasizes that his students did not receive a high school certificate but an occupational career license.

The students’ proctor tests people in five states. He said these were the youngest testers to attempt and pass the (core) exam.

“Nick (Haugstad), as far as I know, is the youngest certified technician in five states, possibly the country,” Seabolt said.

Haugstad said he found looking inside a refrigerator and the science involved interesting and that keeping items cold is about keeping heat out.

Students covered refrigeration units for two months in the engineering technology class. Seabolt felt offering his spare time for the students to study refrigeration opens doors for students to go into multiple careers like refrigerated delivery/trucking, hospital work and repair work.

The five young men said they never thought about refrigeration before but it could be a possible career. Haugstad said he definitely is looking into it more.

The refrigeration license test has no age restrictions and certification is for life. Four students who aren’t certified plan to retest.

Seabolt plans to continue encouraging students during the unit to study for the exam. He doesn’t have plans for students to take electrical certification exams because it’s such a broad spectrum whereas refrigeration is more focused.

“I’m really proud of them and what they’ve done,” Seabolt said.

Reach Matthew Nash at

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