By Arthur J. DiCroce
Transition Support Teacher
The Ontario Skills Competition showcases a variety of skilled trades opportunities and technological challenges. Students from various school boards across all of Ontario compete in a variety of specified tasks to showcase their teamwork skills and problem solving strategies.
The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board entered a Technology Construction team from St Luke Catholic Elementary School. The four selected students trained for 6 weeks to effectively prepare for the pending competition.
The Technology Construction challenge promotes the transfer of subject based learning content to real world applications. Students were required to reference the Grade 7 & 8 science curriculum throughout the challenge. Scientific concepts were integrated in the initial design, and revisited throughout the demonstration. Justan Malkowski a grade 8 team member stated “our knowledge and understanding of the mechanical advantage for the load and effort arm assisted in our model design and its effectiveness”.
Renato Rossini, one of the lead coaches said, “this opportunity was amazing for the students to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom. The students relished the opportunity to showcase their skill set on the day of the competition.“
Luke Pacenza, a grade 8 teammate described the experience, “like competing on the big stage at the highest level for soccer”. Throughout the competition the team consistently collaborated, and effectively problem solved every obstacle they faced. Roman Losch, a grade 8 team member was proud to share his contribution to the design stating, “the pulley system that was added in the final stages helped to solve our problem of stabilization with the control arm.”
The field of competitors consisted of over 25 different school boards. The creativity and originality of all the teams were on full display throughout the challenge. The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board skills team had their full range of talents on display, and executed on all areas of the designated tasks. After a series of demonstrations and a multi-tiered marking system, the judges tallied the scores. The HWCDSB team’s efforts were fully recognized and their design stood out amongst the rest. The team was able to secure a place on the podium in their first ever Grade 7/8 Construction Technology Competition. The team claimed an impressive 3rd place finish across all of Ontario. Juliana Germo a grade 8 teammate said, “this was a great learning experience and it taught me the value of teamwork”.
“It was a very rewarding experience to witness our students showcase their God-given potential and to embrace the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectation of being a collaborative contributor”, proclaimed Arthur DiCroce, Transition Support Teacher. “We are all very proud of the team and wanted to thank everyone who supported us throughout this process.”
A special thank you to Pasquale Piro, our Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Coordinator who funded the competition, provided all supplies, and secured the transportation to this event.