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Niagara College to host DSBN’s 26th Annual Technological Skills Challenge

A student operates precision machining equipment

On February 28, Niagara College will host 350 Niagara high school students as they compete across many different disciplines in the District School Board of Niagara’s (DSBN) 26th annual Technological Skills Challenge.

a student uses a Dremel tool in a construction lab

A high school student builds on their construction skills at the annual Technological Skills Challenge at the Welland Campus in 2023.

Students from 16 DSBN secondary schools will compete in 30 challenges at both the Welland Campus and the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Challenges will demonstrate students’ skills in everything from precision machining to floristry and 2D character animation to carpentry, culinary arts, plumbing, robotics, welding and more.

By participating in the challenges, students have the opportunity to explore careers in the skilled trades and technologies by completing industry-related projects, using industry-standard equipment and adhering to industry regulations. Challenges will be judged by industry mentors who will provide students with valuable feedback and the opportunity to make industry contacts.

DSBN students are well prepared for the competition as there is ample opportunity for students to find their niche in the skilled trades and technologies at DSBN. Education, preparation and training for these challenges happens during the school year through the numerous technology classes students can take in high school. Many of the students involved are Specialist High Skill Major (SHSM) students and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) participants.

NC staff and faculty from the schools of Trades, Technology, Media, Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism, and Environment and Horticulture, as well as the Career Services department, will work alongside the DSBN to help administer the challenges and give students a taste of real, hands-on experience in their chosen fields, further preparing them for successful careers in the skilled trades.

a student in a chef uniform prepares baked goods

A high school student participates in a baking challenge at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in 2023.

“Niagara College has been hosting the Technological Skills Challenge in partnership with the DSBN for nearly 10 years to provide high school students with an opportunity to further explore their interests in the skilled trades,” said Leo Tiberi, NC’s Dean, Media, Trades and Technology. “The competition helps students develop their skills through hands-on challenges supported by our faculty, who hope to inspire these students to become the next generation of skilled workers.”

“DSBN students have been working with our highly skilled technology teachers, and now have the opportunity during these Challenges to enhance and build on their skills,” said Roy Smith, DSBN Technology and SHSM Consultant. “Students can apply problem solving techniques, leadership abilities, and creative ideas to real-world applications on their way to successful careers in the skilled trades.”

Gold medalists from the DSBN Skills Challenge will advance to the Skills Ontario Competition (SOC) which will be held May 6th and 7th at the Toronto Congress Centre. Gold medalists at the SOC will become part of Team Ontario and will have the opportunity to compete at the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC), held this year in Quebec City during the last week of May.

Click here to learn more about Technology and Experiential Learning at the DSBN.