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Weyburn Comp Students awed at national Skills Canada

All four students spoke highly of the encouragement they received from their teachers at the Weyburn Comp,
Weyburn Comp students Sy Boquida, Andrew Bratrud, Niegel Zagada, and Camryn Greve recently returned from competing at the national Skills Canada competition.

WEYBURN - Four Weyburn Comp students recently had the opportunity to attend the national Skills Canada competition. They were awed by the  level of attention at the national event.

Andrew Bratrud, Grade 11, competed in architecture. “I didn’t really realize how huge of an event this really was. For people in Ontario and Quebec, this is a big thing, and it’s just not represented in Saskatchewan enough.”

“It was huge event,” said Bratrud. “There was so many people at the event. It was really cool to see everyone doing their own thing.”

“For Team Saskatchewan, we supported each other even though everyone felt like they were doing their own thing. Everyone’s kind of behind each other because there’s no competition there.”

Sy Boquida, Grade 12, competed in baking. She stressed the importance of packing all her baking tools before arriving for the national event.

“I had to list everything a week before my competition because if I miss one thing, it would be a struggle for me during my competition.”

“When I arrived, I felt like I did not pack enough because my toolbox was not that big. When I saw like Alberta, BC, Ontario, they had like those big, big toolboxes.”

Cameron Greve, Grade 12, competed in IT office software application.

“I was super excited to be representing my province. Also getting to meet people from all over Canada was really cool.”

Niegel Zagada, Grade 11, competed in mechanical engineering.

“I didn’t realize how big an event it was. I kind of wish that we could have went to provincials first. We just went in there blind.”

“I really under-packed. it was just me and a laptop and the mouse. Everyone was rocking three monitors, bringing their own chair and having huge computers.”

The National Competition is open to the public, allowing younger students to view the skills competition.

The students are encouraged that Saskatchewan can play an important role in hosting the next Skills Canada competition.

“I know firsthand that we have tons of really good tradespeople, even in the school, and they are totally able to compete at these levels. It’s just they don’t even know that Skills is even there,” said Bratrud.

Each student spoke about the time they spent during the actual Skills Canada competition.

“I had to bake for eight hours,” said Boquida. “We had to make our own timeline, and include specific details, even the weight and the waste (of the food).” She placed sixth place out of nine.

Bratrud had four challenges over two days. “Two of them were just kind of small, like hand drafting and stuff like that, but for the two big ones I spent a total of 14 hours on that. The first day, they gave me a floor plan of a house with an unfinished basement, and I needed to develop a rental suite that had separate entrances and separate everything.”

Bratrud also placed sixth in his Skills category.

Greve said that her challenges included a total of 10 hours over the two days. “I was given a case study, and had to work for the Quebec City Seafood Association, and I had to make them a variety of documents.”

“I had to do financial statements, an amortization schedule, which tells you how much payment you have to make in a mortgage, business cards, report, and a presentation,” said Greve.

“It was essentially just using Microsoft Office in a practical way  and making lots of different documents for a company in a situation that they actually would need in real life.”

Greve won gold in her competition. The other students noted that achievement would be a big stepping stone for Saskatchewan,

Zagada said his overall competiton was nine hours, with three hours in each of the categories.

“It was for a separate competition, a morning and an afternoon. For my first project, they gave us a document, and then they partnered us up with a company called Lockline. It was a movable joint that’s really stiff.”

“Our first thing was integrating that into some kind of table mount that would hold stuff. It had to be able to hold tables, gadgets, devices, and tablets. For my project, I did something that clamps to this, and then you can screw in the bottom. It didn’t really 3D print that well, but I got it done.”

He said that competition at the national level had “really fired up my passion for mechanical engineering.”

Zagada placed sixth in his category.

All four students spoke highly of the encouragement they received from their teachers at the Weyburn Comp, especially since for many of them, it was these teachers who told them about the Skills Canada competition.

“I’m really grateful to Colton Lund,” said Zagada. “I remember us going to the school on weekends trying to practice. I got to see the other side of teachers working hard. He was grading at the same time he was helping me learn.”

This was especially important for him, as a Grade 11 student he was only registered for Drafting 20, and needed to have Drafting 30 courses completed.

“Without Mrs. Arnold, my advisor, I would not have even known Skills Canada was a thing,” said Greve. “I definitely would not have had the courage to go out and do it.”

“For me, having my teacher’s support was the most motivating thing that really helped me go out there. For me, Rebecca Olson really encouraged me to participate in this. This also helped to build my interest in baking, and I really wanted to make her proud,” said Boquida.

“Colton Lund is the type of teacher that you want as a teacher,” added Bratrud. “He’s the life-changing one. The person that really puts you on a path that’s good.”