Skills Ontario Brings a Boatload of Fun to Students in Sault Ste. Marie


On Thursday, December 1, 2016 students in grades 9-12 from varying high schools in Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area were given the opportunity to develop their planning, designing and building skills in the Skills Ontario Cardboard Boat Race. This is the first year that the event has been hosted in Sault Ste. Marie and the number of students who participated in the competition was outstanding.

20161201_100948The Cardboard Boat Races are fun events that have been held for over 20 years, all across
Ontario. Skills Ontario develops local competitions and from there, the winners have the
opportunity to compete in the provincial competition, which is dependent on their success in the local competition.

20161201_095938The all-day event was held at the YMCA, where students from Superior Heights, C.A.S.S.,
Korah, Hornepayne and White Pines were greeted with some opening remarks, given time to
design and build their boats, provided a nice pizza lunch, given the opportunity to race their
finished products and then awarded with medals and prizes.

20161201_101214Each of the 16 teams consisted of 4 students who were tasked with designing and constructing their cardboard boat in a two hour span. Each team was provided with two sheets of 4’ by 8’ corrugated cardboard and some duct tape, as well as levels, rulers, measuring tapes, and xacto knives. As the competition began a few of the teams took the time to sketch out their designs and ideas, while others decided to jump right into their work. Throughout the building process, each team’s determination showed in how focussed and innovative they were in the design and construction of their boats.

When it came time to race their boats in the 25 yard long pool, three teams would race at a time to test their speed. Those boats that managed to stay intact throughout the race were given the opportunity to compete in a weight challenge where all members of the team would try to sit in their boats for a certain period of time and stay afloat. Teams were awarded points for both their time and the amount of weight that their boat could hold.

dsc00303In addition to the boat races, Skills Ontario offers a video challenge for those students who are more into the technological side of things. In this challenge teams of two are required to record their peer’s progress throughout the day; from the construction stage to the actual boat races in the pool. The videographers then have the opportunity to edit their footage into a promotional video at their school, where a winner will be selected by judges and teams will then be provided with a breakdown of their score.

dsc00342The top three teams in the competition, as well as team with the most spirit will advance to the finals in March in the city of Waterloo. Team spirit points were awarded based on
communication between team members, team cheers, team costumes and overall engagement in the competition. The teams that will advance include a team from C.A.S.S., two teams from Korah and a team from White Pines:
1st Place (C.A.S.S.): Adam Robinson, Wyatt Hill, Kayla Bishop & Dan Szyska
2nd Place (Korah): Owen Appleton, Mitchell Hayes, Justin Bucholtz & Tyler Wright
3rd Place (Korah): Shane Charron, Cody Wright, Erik Vanderbonk & Conrad Nori
Team Spirit Award (White Pines): Taryn Jefferies, Chassidy Hodgson, Dalton Dokum & TJ

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