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Skills Canada 2018 highlights

Cassidy Linseth leads Team Alberta and the Skills Canada National Competition

SAIT representation on Team Alberta remains strong

Hot off their provincial gold medal wins, 10 SAIT students and apprentices are currently vying for honours at the 24th Skills Canada National Competition in Edmonton, Alberta June 4-5, 2018.

More than 500 post-secondary and high school students from across the country will compete in over 40 skilled trade and technology categories in Edmonton June 4 - 5. The gold and silver medal winners in each category will get a shot at representing Canada at the WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia in August 2019.

Day two

Taylor Desjardins participates in cabinetmaking competition at National Skills

Taylor Desjardins drills into a drawer during his part of the competition. The cabinetmaking apprentice had 12 hours to recreate the table, pictured inset, built by SAIT's Scott Dombowsky-Oneski — who won provincial and national gold in 2016 and received a WorldSkills Medal of Excellence in Abu Dhabi last year.

Brandon Mintz works the lathe

Brandon Mintz, above, works the lathe on day two of the Precision Machining competition. He replicated the models, pictured inset, using a lathe and mill over the two days of competition.

The fourth-year apprentice found more than just technical skill was being tested.
"The competition is time-sensitive, so time management is one of the most important skills to have," he says.

Jonathan Siblagan during the millwright competition

Jonathan Siblagan begins the final day of the Industrial Mechanic/Millwright competition by aligning a piece of equipment using a laser-based device. By the end of the second day, he will also machine cold-rolled steel on the lathe, bend stainless steel tubing and create a pneumatic circuit - which uses compressed gas to power a device.

The competition is a marathon with competitors spending three hours on each of the stations.

Jordin Dittmer levels his bricks

Jordin Dittmer, above, checks the level of his structure during the Bricklaying competition. While the project looks similar to the provincial competition's design, the national version is larger in height and width and utilizes glass blocks, instead of the concrete blocks from provincials.

The first-time competitor pored over the challenge's blueprints during the weekend leading up to day one.
"I memorized the design as much as possible and it's helped me be more efficient," says Dittmer. "I've saved time on laying out my bricks and making my cuts."

Logan Cooper looks over his CNC project

Logan Cooper concentrates on his laptop before transferring code to the CNC Machine. The machinist technician student must reproduce a part depicted on the engineering drawings he was given at the start of the competition.

His work begins on the laptop using MasterCAM — software that tells the CNC machine how to shape the material. Cooper codes in the specifications he needs, transfers the code from his laptop to the CNC machine and then operates it to produce the part.

Day one

Kira Parkinson molds sugar in the baking competition

Kira Parkinson, pictured above, molds sugar into rings for one of her Baking tasks. Parkinson improved on her 2017 Provincial Skills Canada Competition bronze medal by winning gold — earning her a spot on this year's Team Alberta.

Cassidy Linseth brazing

Cassidy Lindseth, pictured above, brazes part of his freezer unit during the first day of competition. Brazing is the process of joining two metals with an alloy, like copper or zinc, using heat.

After winning his second Provincial Skills Canada gold in two years, Lindseth sees this year's national competition as a year for redemption, hoping to improve on his 2017 performance.

"I want to top the podium this year," he says.

Peter Farrar works on an engine

Peter Farrar, pictured above, works on an airplane engine as part of his day one tasks. The first-year Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Technology student says he sees value in the real world applications of each task in the competition.

"The tasks we are doing for the competition match what we would be doing if we were working in an aircraft maintenance role," says the first-time competitor. "I'm really happy to be here."

Luke Traverse works on an engine

Luke Traverse, pictured above, starts his morning off removing and re-installing a turbo charger. The Heavy Equipment Service competitor is part of SAIT's podium sweep at the provincial competition.

Representing Alberta and attaining gold this year would mark a winning end to his Skills Canada career.

"This is my final year competing," he says, adding, "It's a great feeling to be representing Alberta at the national level."

Laine Van Hardeveld and Alexander Wilkinson prepare to test their machine

Alexander Wilkinson and Laine Van Hardeveld, pictured above, make adjustments on their machine before beginning the testing phase of the Mechatronics competition. Wilkinson hopes to add to his mantle — already displaying two provincial gold medals and a national gold medal.

"The level of competition at this year's provincial competition was high," says Daniel Barrett, Instructor in the School of Manufacturing and Automation. "Mechatronics teams have been consistently raising the bar over the past four years."

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