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Putting trades and tech skills to the test: High school students compete at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Hundreds of high school students from Revelstoke to Osoyoos will be making Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus home this Friday (March 7) as they participate and watch in the 18th annual Trades and Technology Regional SkillsBC Competition. 

The students will be competing in 11 different contests, ranging from carpentry to culinary arts, and from architectural computer-assisted drafting to welding. 

“Every year we try to provide a wide variety of competitions to test the Grade 10-12 competitors’ abilities,” says Dianne Holm, who has been organizing this event at the College for seven years, “and every year we are impressed with the level of the expertise and the skills they bring to the contests.”

The Okanagan College event is one of 12 regional competitions that occur throughout the province, and which feeds into the SkillsBC provincial competition, that will be held April 9 in Abbotsford.

The College-based event also features a junior skills competition for students in Grades 6-10, that sees them racing their hand built gravity vehicles down a 32 foot long track. Added to the competitions are a host of activity stations, where students, parents, teachers and the public can explore different trades and technologies, including aircraft maintenance engineering, robotics, motor vehicle trades, sheet metal, welding, and more. A new feature this year is the maker space, that allows people to explore their creativity and problem-solving ability with an array of materials and tools.

While the competition starts at 10 a.m. with registration, the skills events run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tours of the College’s trades facilities are available during the day.

The event is open to the public, free of charge, and will be held in various rooms, but activities will be focused in the College’s Heavy Duty Equipment shop. It coincides with another huge draw for students and the public to the Kelowna Campus – the College’s Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest.

The skills events will be webcast – you can find links and further information by going to