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Comox Valley students earn golds at Skills Canada

Regional competition took place remotely between March 8 and 12
Mark Isfeld culinary student Ella Oldaker (Gold Medal winner) finishing off before plating her Prawn Stir fry with Thai Green Curry and Brown Rice Pilaf for judges. Photo, Comox Valley Schools

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

Highland Secondary

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

Brooklynn Elementary

Wind Turbine: Owen Duncan, Cole Dekker and Zia Morishi

Carpentry event students from Vanier, Highland and Isfeld watch as judges begin to measure their framing. Photo, Comox Valley Schools
Nate Boan, Shay Devine, Declan Sestak from Ecole Puntledge Park with their gold winning spaghetti bridge which was the lightest bridge that could hold a 1kg weight. Photo, Comox Valley Schools

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