High school students across the region have been putting their abilities to the test for the past two weeks at various Skills Canada competitions, including Elmira District Secondary School.
Six EDSS students ranging from Grades 10 to 12 tried their hand at the electrical competition on Monday at Conestoga College’s Doon Campus.
EDSS tech department head, Randy Dyck says it’s a valuable experience for students to make that connection between what they’re learning in school and what they could study in their post-secondary education.
At least one student from EDSS will represent the region at provincial competition in Toronto this May.
Dyck explains some students participate in Skills Canada while learning the skills in their classes.
“For others, it’s out of sheer interest they’ll come to our club over the lunch hour. We do a weekly lunch time together where we do a variety of projects. Some are very community based, other times they specifically gear them in an area of concentrated study that they like to focus on.”
The electrical students were working on a typical bathroom circuitry for the competition, which included a switch control, fan, lights and receptacle.
“It would be pretty much a fairly common circuitry. In many respects it was also very time sensitive, just because it was within the confines of the typical school day. On the contrary when they move up to the Ontario Skills, typically they’ll start at 7 in the morning, and they might not even end until 6:30, 7 at night.”
In provincial competition they’ll have to complete a wider set of circuitry, such as mounting electrical panels, creating different connectivity and conduit bending. From there, if they win, they’ll move on to the national competition.
Dyck notes students from Elmira have represented Ontario nationally before for numerous Skills Canada categories.
“Our hope is to expand these particular competitions into other areas and work in conjunction with the college. They provide not only the venue but also a perspective for the young people to look to the future, careers.”
He says it was a successful day for not only EDSS students, but also the students from other schools, as they all had the opportunity to learn from Conestoga College instructors.
“Some of the feedback that we were getting from them just on an individual basis, and then also as they were talking together, they really felt quite inspired by the day,” said Dyck.
“[They] felt they really had learned a lot from some of the discussions they had with the industry profs that were there who then gave them a bit of feedback with respect to what they were working on.”
EDSS students have also been competing in automotive, plumbing, carpentry, horticultural, and landscaping Skills Canada competitions since last week, around the region.