One of the gravity cars that Eagle River Secondary students entered in the Cariboo Junior Skills competition at Thompson Rivers University on March 8. (Photo Contributed)

Sicamous students win big at skills competition

Young minds worked on gravity car and spaghetti bridge designs, others entered a welding competition

The Eagle River Secondary students who went to Thompson Rivers University to compete in the Cariboo Regional Skills Competition and the Cariboo Junior Skill Competition met with great success.

Logan Spence-Ellis won a bronze medal in the welding skills competition he entered.

Teams of ERS students also won a silver medal in the gravity car competition and both a gold and bronze medal for their spaghetti bridge designs.

One group of students competed to see how far their small cars powered by gravity could travel without stopping. Their cars, which were assembled before the competition and brought along to be tested at TRU have unique names like Lightning McQueen, the Black Pearl and the Galaxy. The car’s designs had to be finely tuned as size and weight restrictions were imposed for the competition.

ERS teacher James Wagstaff said working on the gravity cars teaches the students about properties like aerodynamics and friction which come into play when building the cars. Students had to report on how these physical properties act on their cars travel as they down the track.

Read More: Okanagan College in Kelowna hosts spaghetti bridge building competition

Students’ ability to construct a bridge out of spaghetti able to support a kilogram for at least a minute was also tested at the skills competition. Wagstaff said unlike in the gravity car competition, students were only allowed to bring the raw materials for the bridge. They will had only two hours to turn their pasta into a sturdy bridge using a hot glue gun.

“They had to design their own in a group and then they had a couple tries at making them and testing them and obviously developing and improving them,” Wagstaff said.

In the spaghetti bridge competition, the lightest bridge still able to suspend the weight beneath it for a full minute was declared the winner.

Read More: Straining the limits of pasta

ERS sent two students to the welding skills portion of the Cariboo Regional Skills Competition which was also held at TRU on March 8. Teacher Curtis Bellows said Spence-Ellis and Cassandra Wagstaff, another ERS student who entered the contest, were assigned a project to test skills including oxy welding, arc welding, mig welding and cutting.

Bellows said both students Took a six-month welding foundations program at Okanagan College which ran from July of 2018 until February 2019.

“They have quite a bit more experience than what we would teach at Eagle River,” Bellows said.


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