Last week, students from across the province traveled to Toronto to compete in Canada’s largest skilled trade and technology event, the Skills Ontario Competition. With over 60 trades competitions, college and industry displays all housed under one roof, participants were able to get a first-hand glimpse at what it is like to work in the motive power, service, construction, industrial and technology sectors.
The Algoma District School Board sent 22 competitors to participate in 11 events as individuals or as a small team. Along with the competitors traveled 23 additional students who attended either a First Nations, Métis, Inuit Conference or Young Women’s Conference, both of which were being run in conjunction with the Skills Ontario Competition.
The first day of the event focused on the elementary competitions. FH Clergue sent a team of four to the grade 7/8 VEX IQ Robotics Challenge. Aidan Tibben, Brennan Murray, Ewan Helmsworth and Matti Michaud had a strong performance, consistently scoring high. The day finished with them taking home the gold medal. “It felt like… it felt special,” said Brennen, “It was a nice feeling and I’m proud of my team.”
Inspired by the event and trades showcase, Ewan Helmsworth said, “I think I would do a trade in high school because they are very useful skills to have and they open up more job opportunities. As for what trade, I would take something to do with engineering, computer technology or culinary arts.”
Also competing in the grade 7/8 Technology Challenge was Superior Heights. They put forth a solid effort, building a prototype machine for inserting “uranium” rods in a mock nuclear reactor.
On day two of the event, the secondary and post-secondary competitions were held. The secondary standout was Tristan Sacchetta of Superior Heights, finishing second in the Restaurant Service competition. Having competed last year to a 5th place finish, Tristan returned committed to improve.
Additionally, secondary students competed in Auto Service Technology, Cabinetmaking, Carpentry – Individual, Carpentry – Team of 2, Home and Team Building (Team of 4), Outdoor Powered Equipment, Photography, and TV & Video Production (Team of 2). All students performed well against the challenges and top-level competition they were faced with.
Jeff Watts, a Korah teacher, participated as a judge at the event. Asked about the quality of work and the difficulty of separating the winners he said, “When students achieve to the level of Skills Ontario, they have already demonstrated a skill level of exception. Distinguishing the winning features of their performance products, therefore, comes down to a veritable ‘splitting hairs’ of best of the best that our future skilled trades people promise to become.”