ST. PAUL - Although they didn't get to make the trip to Edmonton to compete at this year's Skills Canada Alberta competition, a handful of students from St. Paul Regional High School still had the opportunity to refine their skills in the shop and kitchen at a virtual provincial event.
Construction teacher Hank Smid says that although winners haven't been announced yet, the experience was nonetheless a good one for those who took part in April. After competing in the regional event in March, the top finishers were able to compete again at provincials.
The event was made possible through live streaming, as judges watched students complete projects in their own school environments. Although the students who took part in the construction category didn't finish their projects in the allotted time, they still improved their skills, and "got better and faster," says Smid.
Students enjoyed the experience and "they were quite happy," says Smid, speaking specifically about the construction students.
And while this year's set-up may have been different than in the past due to protocols in place around the pandemic, Smid acknowledged how he was simply happy to see the event take place. There are so many events that have been outright cancelled, and he views the fact the provincial Skills Canada competition took place as a positive.
Because of the school's performance at the regional competition in March, the high school received a bunch of new tools for the shop, which Smid describes as "really, really awesome." He notes that local business Home Hardware also offered its support with construction materials.
Regional High School students also took part in welding, baking and culinary arts categories.
"All of the teachers are very proud of the hard work and dedication shown by our students this year for Skills Canada," says Connie Landsiedel, the foods instructor at the high school. "This year was very different because all of the events were done virtually with students only being able to show their talents on camera, and not in person. But, they all gave it their best and I can’t wait to get the results on May 13."
Competing at provincials were: Mathew Bachelet and Cole Brousseau in construction; Lane Peters and Nicholas Siewiertoka in welding; Logan Kucharski and Michael Brousseau in culinary arts; and Grace Siemers, Katie Ryning, and Megan Skulski in baking.