The Mountaineer - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
© 2007 The Mountaineer Publishing Company Limited.


West Central student stest skills at provincial level
By Laura Button
Editor

Logan Fontana, a Grade 11 student at West Central High School, took gold at the provincial Skills Canada joinery competition earlier this month. Five students travelled to Edmonton to compete in various skilled trades, and everyone finished in the top 10.
Logan never expected to take gold.
“It’s definitely exciting for me,” he said. “Last year I got second place for a sawhorse, but I had a two-millimetre gap in a dovetail,” he recalled. “This year I definitely improved. I have a one-millimetre gap or nothing at all.”
Logan had to build a stool from supplied plans that called on students to use dovetail and mortise and tenon joints.
“It’s just fun to make stuff,” Logan told The Mountainer. “It’s a challenge to make it as perfect as you can.”
He plans to bring his award-winning work home.
“Mom will use it as a seat when we have guests over,” he predicts.
Top 10 results
John Ross and Oliver Forsyth competed in the mechanical CADD competition, in which they had to render a 3D object into 2D and vice-versa.
“I guess if I went to build a shed I could make my own blueprints,” said John, explaining the real-world application of his InventorPro software skills.
In Edmonton, Jakob Reiter had 12 hours to complete a knock-down desk for the cabinetry competition.
“I practice-built parts in the shop here, so I knew what I was doing,” he said, although there were still lessons to be had at the provincial level.
“I learned time management,” he said. “If something’s not going well you set it aside and come back to it.”
The knock-down desk is so-named because it can be taken apart and reassembled all without tools.
“I hope to continue building stuff like this as a hobby,” said Jakob.
In carpentry, Craig Morgan had to build a seven- by four-foot playhouse.
“I got three-quarters of the way through,” he said. “It’s either going to be a dog house – a really big dog house – or I’ll finish it and sell it.”
Craig earned his berth to provincials with the construction of a mini picnic table at a central Alberta Skills competition in April. Despite his success in carpentry, he is looking forward to moving on to cabinetry next year.
“I like it more and it doesn’t make me as sore,” he said.
Despite their strong showing, neither West Central High School student advanced to nationals. Only the first-place winner in each trade gets to move on, but there is no national competition for joinery.
The Alberta contingent placed well at nationals on June 4 through 6, taking gold in cabinetry, carpentry and mechanical CADD.
“That’ll be us next year,” predicted Entz. “We worked quite hard to prepare and we put in quite a bit of time. We’re looking forward to next year.”
Jakob, Craig and Logan are all in Grade 11, and plan to hone their skills next year.
Is Entz’ shop the best class at school?
“It sure is,” said Craig.
“I totally agree,” added Logan.
Why?
“Entz is half the reason,” said Craig. “I get to do what I want to do, and I don’t have to do stupid social homework.”