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OJSH student wins GOLD - Skills Canada-Provincial -WELDING

OJSH Student wins Skills Alberta Gold

Mr. Ryan Siemens-OJSH Mechanics /Fabrication teacher

As 2020 throws more and more curveballs our way, a sense of what we have lost seems to loom in the back of our minds. For students and teachers at Onoway Junior Senior High School, many things have been lost...the face to face relationships, the clubs and even the ever important rite of passage of walking across the stage of a traditional graduation ceremony. Skills Alberta gave back a little bit of normalcy when they went above and beyond to provide a modified skills competition this year. This gave students and opportunity to display their abilities in their particular domain. Zakk Goertzen was the OJSH representative in the Welding category.

Zakk is a teachable, humble, hardworking and motivated student. He is a true leader! This was evident when, earlier in the school year, Zach led the OJSH welding team to compete at the CLAC sponsored Wicked welding competition. Not only was Zach the elder statesman on the team, but was also the creator and designer of the giant spider metal sculpture that the team built.

Typically, the Skills Alberta competition is an in person competition in many different trades. This year, as Covid19 stole the possibility having a large group of people competing, so a modified event was held. Zakk talked about this change. “Not everyone has access to welders at home, so for the welding branch of the competition Skills Canada needed to figure out a way to test our skills without us actually welding. They decided to give us an exam. For the first part of the exam we were given a blueprint to analyze, we answered one mark questions based off of our interpretation of the blueprint. For the second part we were asked to draw three different weave patterns on a blank piece of paper.

When Zakk started training at the beginning of the semester, he came into the shop in his pare time everyday to practice his hands on skills, but we hadn’t spent a lot of time on blueprint reading. He worked hard and improved immensely. Training after Covid 19 hit was very different. Zakk had to adjust his training “To win gold, I really had to study up. My uncle is a welding teacher so I was able to have a crash course with him before I took the exam. When I took the exam I was able to answer the blueprinting questions with confidence.

We’re so proud of Zakk and all of the effort that he has put in to training and learning the welding trade. He is a good student and an even better person who deserves this award! Zakk summed it up well “I did the studying, I used strategy, I tried my hardest and it paid off. I knew Skills Canada worked very hard to make this happen, and I wasn’t going to take that for granted.


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