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CPHS and PDCI Students Win Silver in Skills Ontario Competition
CPHS and PDCI Students Win Silver in Skills Ontario Competition
Posted on 06/08/2021
PDCI Skills Ontario Medallist

Two UCDSB students walked away with silver medals in the annual Skills Ontario Competition this year. Grade 9 Carleton Place High School student Conall McCooeye and Grade 12 Perth & District Collegiate Institute student Matthew Piaskoski both earned second place in the province-wide competition that was hosted remotely for the first time in the competition’s history.

The Skills Ontario Competition offers a unique opportunity for students to demonstrate they are the best of the best in their field. Winners are awarded with gold, silver or bronze medals - and some with monetary awards, too - and given the chance to compete at the Skills Canada National Competition. From there, competitors could be headed to a WorldSkills Competition.

For the Remote Virtual Skills Ontario Competition, students competed from their own classrooms or at home as opposed to meeting in one location against with other competitors. The aim for each contest was to be as close as possible to in-person competitions in terms of contest difficulty and comprehensiveness. The contest took into consideration the tools and equipment that are commonly available in classrooms across the province.


CPHS Student Conall McCooeye’s Competition

CPHS Student

Conall McCooeye competed in the Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) Woodworking Competition. Students had to create a unique sign recognizing that skilled trades are in high demand. Conall had all his toolpaths required to cut the project completed for the CNC Woodworking Competition over a week before the entry date – putting in at least 20 hours of work. 

Conall was unable to fully complete his piece for the competition as the provincially mandated school closure occurred just one week prior to the competition submission deadline.  

Fortunately, Skills Ontario was accepting partially completed entries. As a result, Conall entered his test piece and a screen shot of all the toolpaths. Supervising teacher Norm Decou says he was impressed with Conall’s commitment to follow through with the project despite all the challenges he faced.

“Conall won the silver not only with his impressive design skills but also by showing initiative. With only a brief introduction to Inkscape, he took on the challenge to teach himself the rest of the program,” explains Decou. “He also displayed his unique ability to integrate multiple skills into one project. Lastly, Conall demonstrated an incredibly high level of commitment to this project and showed a determined ability to accept and overcome obstacles and challenges.”


PDCI Student Matthew Piaskoski’s Competition

Matthew Piaskoski (pictured in feature image) competed in the 3D animation competition in which he had to use an existing 3D character and animate them based on a supplied theme. Competing students had to apply the principles of animation to make their characters move and act in a convincing and appealing manner. Students, although working from home, had a set time limit to complete their work, and were not permitted to seek input from their teachers and others.

Matthew has a keen interest in 3D animation and modelling, and his experience made him shine. He completed earlier 3D projects as part of his Media Arts courses as well as completed practice sessions for the competition.

“Matthew not only accepts criticism but seeks it out and applies it to his work,” says his supervising teacher, Paul Gallien. “This is a major reason he was able to develop his skills to the point that he is officially one on the best high school animators in Ontario. Matthew is also dependable and shows initiative when encountering difficulties and obstacles.”

The UCDSB is proud of our students’ efforts and wish them the best at the level of competition!

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