Students in the Comox Valley got a chance to test a range of skills recently, with many posting strong showings at the regional Skills Canada BC competition.
The North Island regional competition took place remotely between March 8 and 12. In all, more than 450 competitors from grades 6 to 12 representing more than a dozen schools in a dozen different events, including carpentry, culinary, electronics, welding, media animation and TV/video production. There were also junior events for student in grades 6 to 8 included Gravity Cars, Spaghetti Bridge Design, Wind Turbine and VexIQ Robotics.
Comox Valley district students showed impressive finishes, earning gold medal placement in 10 of the 12 events.
Steve Claassen, Comox Valley Schools career coordinator for trades and ADST, has been involved with Skills Canada for more than 20 years and said the calibre of skills among local students continues to be strong from year to year.
“I am always amazed to see the skill level of students at this competition and see these kids as our future designers, coders, fabricators and trouble-shooters,” Claassen said. “Our valley is fortunate to have some very skilled students in trades and technology, and in most years some of our student reach the nationals and comes back with medals.”
In a non-COVID year, gold medal winners advance to the provincials in Abbotsford in April. Winners there have the opportunity to advance to the national Skills Canada competition. However, to ensure a safe provincial event, most competitions are taking place remotely at the competitors’ respective schools.
Gold Medal Winners
Georges P. Vanier Secondary
Carpentry: Charlie Guile
Welding: Sheridan Osterman
Mark R. Isfeld Senior Secondary
Culinary Arts: Ella Oldaker
Electronics: Austin Harris
2D Animation: Jubiel Halasz and Owen Valmorbida
VexIQ Robotics: Benoit Vaillant
Sumo Robotics: Nicholas Horel
Aspen Park Elementary (ENTER Program)
Gravity Car: Isaac Gibson
Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary
Spaghetti Bridge: Declan Sestak, Nate Boan and Shay Devineold
Wind Turbine: Owen Duncan, Cole Dekker and Zia Morishi