Niagara College hosts 20th DSBN Technological Skills Challenge

On Feb. 28, Niagara College will host more than 350 Niagara high school students as they compete across many different disciplines in the District School Board of Niagara’s annual Technological Skills Challenge.

Students from 17 Niagara schools will compete in over 25 challenges at both the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses. Challenges will demonstrate students’ skills in everything from automotive tech, to computer coding and advanced manufacturing to hairstyling, to baking and culinary arts.

Faculty and staff from Niagara College will work alongside the DSBN to help administer the challenges and give the students a taste of real, hands-on experience in their chosen fields.

“Hosting the Skills Challenge is something we take pride in every year,” said Marc Nantel, PhD, NC’s associate vice president, Research and Innovation and interim dean of Media, Trades and Technology. “The students come in with amazing talents in the trades, and Niagara College is able to provide state-of the art facilities, equipment and expertise to help them demonstrate that talent and take the next step toward a successful career.”

The Technological Skills Challenge helps prepare students for successful careers in the skilled trades, and are an excellent demonstration of how  ‘Makers Change the World.’ Many of the students involved are Specialist High Skill Major (SHSM) students and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) participants.

“This event is certainly a highlight of the year for many technology students who have been honing their skills since September,” said Paula Mackinnon, Superintendent of Secondary Education for the DSBN.

“The students of the DSBN participating in the Skills Challenges have the opportunity to excel in their field while using the industry standard equipment and software within Niagara College, expanding their skills in preparation for their postsecondary choices,” said Roy Smith, technological education consultant for the DSBN.

The top three finalists from each challenge will be recognized at the DSBN Skills Celebration on April 17 at Club Italia in Niagara Falls. Gold medal champions will represent the DSBN at the Skills Ontario Provincial Finals in May. Gold medalists at the provincial level will become part of Team Ontario and will advance to the Skills National Finals held this year in Edmonton.

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