More than 100 high school students from across southeast Alberta got to put their talents to the test at the 14th annual South East Alberta Regional Skills Competition, held in Medicine Hat on April 30.
The annual competition gives students an opportunity to complete hands-on projects in a timed competition that encompasses skills learned in the classrooms, shops, kitchens, and labs.
Paul Schaan, carpentry instructor at the Medicine Hat College has been involved with the skills competition for a few years and said that at the competition the students learn how to put their skills to use in a quick fashion. At the carpentry competition, the students were to build a backyard bench.
“They had six hours to build it,” said Schaan, adding that the competitors were not given the design until the morning of the competition. “They had to think fast, but they learn how to use tools safely and the competition helps build their skills. Plus, they get that satisfaction with having the finished product.”
Randi Tajcnar, Alberta Skills Competition education facilitator from Edmonton said the purpose of the annual competition is to expose students to various careers in the trades industry as they try to decide which career route they will follow after graduating high school.
“It’s really cool for the students to come out and test drive the trades and technology fields. The competition helps to inform them of potential career paths,” said Tajcnar. “The Skills competition does a good job of helping the students by equipping them with the skills they need.”
Categories in the competition included: auto service, baking, cabinet making, carpentry, culinary arts, hairstyling, video production, and welding.
Donna Kirschner, project manager and field director for the SE Alberta Regional Skills Competition and Trades & Technology Expo said schools from across southeast Alberta are invited to participate. This year’s competition had students competing from Brooks Composite High, Eagle Butte High School, Bassano High School, and Bow Island’s Senator Gershaw School, as well as the high schools in the Hat.
“It’s valuable for the students to get that extra level of exposure to the trades and it allows them to compete against peers and learn from their peers,” said Kirschner.
Over 100 students competed in categories that took place at the Medicine Hat College, Medicine Hat High School, and Crescent Heights High School. The top two competitors from each category advances to the provincial Skills Canada Alberta competition taking place in Edmonton on May 8-9.
The Trades and Technology Expo that took place at the same time as the Skills Competition involves hands-on learning opportunities at stations hosted by various industry leaders, organizations, and community partners. Approximately 950 junior and senior high school students from across the region were registered to take part in the Expo.
2019 South East Alberta Regional Skills Winners:
Gold: Sabrina Bates – Medicine Hat High School;
Silver: Kaleigh Wojcichowsky – Medicine Hat High School;
Bronze: Mackenzie Blasing – Medicine Hat High School.
Gold: Ellie Wilkinson – Medicine Hat High School;
Silver: Taelar Bromberg – Medicine Hat High School;
Bronze: Nilu Jahandardoost – Medicine Hat High School.
Gold: Cooper Greer and Dalen Despas - Brooks Composite High School;
Silver: Tytus Butkiewicz and Peter Unger - Brooks Composite High School;
Bronze: Angus Kay-Shand and Cayson Helmle – Medicine Hat High School.
Gold: Joshua Suelze – Medicine Hat High School
Silver: Kaitlynn Denniel – Medicine Hat High School
Bronze: Dawson Goett – Medicine Hat High School.
Continued on Page 3
Gold: Katie Maggrah – Medicine Hat High School
Silver: Hunter Yagos-Hofstetter – Brooks Composite High School
Bronze: Keegan Kromrey – Brooks Composite High School
Gold: Alex Rice - Duchess School
Silver: Cole Yeast - Eagle Butte High School
Bronze: Ty McClelland – Brooks Composite High School
Gold: Ashley Thakurdeen – Brooks Composite High School
Silver: Landon Grudecki - McCoy High School
Bronze: Jenae Harahus – Brooks Composite High School
Gold: Emily Haukeness – Medicine Hat High School
Silver: Mackayla Fitzpatrick – Brooks Composite High School
Bronze: Maddy Hunt – Crescent Heights High School
Gold – Becky Savoy & Kyah Wirsch – Medicine Hat High School
Silver – Brooke Pfeiffer & Trinity Corrigal – Crescent Heights High School
Bronze (tie) – Martina Wallace and Miles Peterson – Bassano School
Phoebe Gamao & Jean Sta Rosa – Medicine Hat High School