Devan Scheeringa went to the closing ceremony for the Ontario Technological Skills Competition on Wednesday intending to see how well his classmates did. Much to his surprise, the EDSS student was called up to accept the gold medal for the heating systems technician category.
“When I left, I felt good about how I did but I didn’t think I did well enough to win a medal,” Scheeringa said. “I was really nervous going into it because I didn’t get the practice I thought I needed.”
The competition consisted of a 40-minute written test on his knowledge of tools and electrical theory, and a 30-minute practical component. For the practical component, Scheeringa had to put the blower wheel back on a furnace motor and reinstall the motor on the furnace.
Scheeringa has done work like that before; he’s in the HVACR program at EDSS, which gives students an introduction to heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. He’s also done some work with his dad, who used to be in the business.
Scheeringa says he’s definitely going to do something related to heating systems in the future; he’s planning to return to EDSS for a fifth year and start apprenticeship training through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program.
Many of the gold medal winners will advance to the nationals in Charlottetown, PEI at the end of the month, but there is no national competition for heating systems.
Chris Klein-Horseman, another student at EDSS, took home silver in the industrial wiring category. The other local winner was Richard Erb of Wellesley who won silver in refrigeration.
More than 1,600 students from across the province – elementary, secondary and post-secondary – took part in the competition at Waterloo’s RIM Park in categories ranging from welding to 3D character animation to hairstyling. Altogether, there were more than 60 skilled trades contests, taken in by 30,000 spectators.