EDSS stu­dents show off their Skills at re­gional and pro­vin­cial com­pe­ti­tions

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - FAISAL ALI

THE STU­DENTS OF EDSS proved their tal­ents at this year’s Skills Canada com­pe­ti­tions, medal­ing in a host of cat­e­gories in the re­gion­als, and claim­ing one gold at the provin­cials. Com­pet­ing over the past sev­eral months in a va­ri­ety of trades-in­spired com­pe­ti­tions, from plumb­ing to car­pen­try to au­to­mo­tive, the Elmira stu­dents demon­strated ap­ti­tude in a va­ri­ety of hands-on pro­fes­sions.

In ad­di­tion to win­ning a gold at the provin­cials in the flo­ral de­sign cat­e­gory, the team claimed seven gold medals at the re­gional lev­els, four sil­vers and two bronze. The com­pe­ti­tions tasked stu­dents with a com­plet­ing spe­cific tasks in their field over a pe­riod of sev­eral hours.

“What re­ally dif­fer­en­ti­ates [this] is all of the com­pe­ti­tions are judged by in­dus­try reps. So lit­er­ally peo­ple from in­dus­try who them­selves on a dayto-day busi­ness, in their liveli­hood, that’s their vo­ca­tion,” explained Randy Dyck, the elec­tri­cal, heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing coach on the team.

Be­cause the com­pe­ti­tions are all geared to­wards real-world prob­lems, such re­pair­ing au­to­mo­bile en­gines or wiring fix­tures, the skills picked up along the way are a tremen­dous as­set to fu­ture trades­per­sons.

For Em­mitt Bart­ley, who took home the gold at the re­gional level com­pe­ti­tions in me­chan­i­cal CADD, the com­pe­ti­tions were a great way to gain prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence in his fu­ture pro­fes­sion.

“I’ve had quite a bit of prac­tice just on my own with that kind of soft­ware, but there was a lot that I didn’t know,” he notes. “I just want to get into in­dus­trial de­sign and then into au­to­mo­tive de­sign, so it’s right down my al­ley.”

Con­nor Red­mond, who won gold in the elec­tri­cal com­pe­ti­tions, is like­wise look­ing to build on what he learned dur­ing his time with the Skills team to be­come an elec­tri­cian. He’s keen to en­cour­age others to give the team a try, point­ing out ben­e­fits

“I’d say def­i­nitely go, be­cause you get a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties. There’s a lot of con­tacts to be made there. Just a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties for ca­reers, post-se­condary,” said Red­mond of the Skills Com­pe­ti­tions.

That there is no bet­ter way to learn then sim­ply by do­ing is at the core of the Skills phi­los­o­phy, and the team strives to give stu­dents a real-world ex­pe­ri­ence.

“A big part of our ob­jec­tive for the young peo­ple is ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing,” said Dyck. “And then the other big um­brella that we try to work to­wards is do­ing com­mu­nity-based projects.”

The team has lent their time and ex­per­tise to as­sist a num­ber of lo­cal ini­tia­tives, such as by build­ing pic­nic ta­bles for the af­ford­able hous­ing char­ity Men­noHomes, and cre­at­ing out­door planters and bird­house kits to ben­e­fit the MCC Re­lief Sale.

“It’s a won­der­ful way for the young peo­ple to ap­ply their skills in very prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions,” said Dyck. “I think they found it quite grat­i­fy­ing to know that the types of projects they were do­ing as­sist others in the com­mu­nity.”

The gold medal­ists on the team were Parker Win­field and Matthew Ratthe in team land­scap­ing, Em­mitt Bart­ley in me­chan­i­cal CADD, Bryce Sel­lars in HVAC - HTG, Con­nor Red­mond in elec­tri­cal, Ethan Ball in plumb­ing, Tyler Peel­ing in au­to­mo­tive and Halie Arm­strong in flo­ral de­sign.

At the pro­vin­cial level com­pe­ti­tions held ear­lier this month, Arm­strong went on to win the gold in her cat­e­gory of flo­ral de­sign.

[FAISAL ALI / THE OB­SERVER]

The EDSS Skills team. Front row: Hai­ley Arm­strong, Chan­tal McMur­ray, Abby Hanley, Sa­van­nah Cas­sels. Sec­ond row: coach Randy Dyck, Wes Per­rin, Em­mett Bart­ley, Ethan Ball, Tyler Peel­ing, Con­nor Red­mond, Mrs. Gaudet, Saxon Mus­sel­man. Back row: Dallas Frey, Austin Martin, Bren­dan Brubacher, Matthew Frey, Parker Win­field, Mack Willms, Alex DeVore, Mr. Shantz. Ab­sent: Matthew Ratthe, Kyle Dey­wall, Gavin Wil­son, Bryce Sel­lars, Tyson Bolen­der, Dy­lan Hehn, Matthew Radler, Ja­cob Ruprecht.

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