250 Students Compete in 25 Skilled Trades & Technologies Challenges across DSBN

Mar 03, 2022

Over 250 DSBN high school students are putting their skills and learned expertise to the test during the next two weeks in the 24th annual Technological Skills Challenges. Students are competing against their peers from our 17 secondary schools by completing industry-related projects, following industry-regulations and using modern, industry-standard equipment and software, because – you guessed it – to help refine their skills and prepare them to work in their industry of choice.

Like 2021, this year’s competitors will be performing their challenges within DSBN schools and facilities. Students are competing in 25 different challenges, including everything from baking to construction, floristry to electrical, and graphic design to robotics. Niagara College, alongside many other long-standing community partners, will once again be providing their trusted and professional assistance in these challenges, working with DSBN to judge the competitions and offer valuable insight to students as industry mentors.

But don’t fret – DSBN students aren’t going into these competitions unprepared. In fact, it’s the opposite. There is ample opportunity for students to find their niche in the skilled trades and technologies at the DSBN. Education, preparation, and training for these challenges happens during the school year through the numerous technology classes students can take in high school. Many of the student participants are enrolled in the Board’s Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program, and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). The Technological Skills Challenges that we host with Niagara College are an additional way to help students gain valuable skills, so they become better prepared for a future in the skilled trades and technologies.

Here are this year’s Technological Skills Challenges, which are aligned with classes offered in DSBN secondary schools:

  • 2D Character Animation
  • Architectural CAD
  • Automotive Service
  • Baking
  • Coding
  • Carpentry – Individual and Team competitions
  • CNC Woodworking
  • Culinary Arts
  • Electrical Installations
  • Floristry
  • GIS
  • Graphic Design – Presentation and Production competitions
  • Hairstyling
  • Job Interview
  • Job Demonstration
  • Landscape Design
  • Mechanical CAD
  • Photography
  • Precision-Machining
  • Robotics
  • Small-Powered Equipment
  • TV and Video
  • Welding

Gold medalists will get to compete at provincials, being held virtually in April. If students win gold at the Ontario Skills Challenges, then they become part of Team Ontario and will advance to the Skills National Finals, happening between May 25 – 28th. Over the past 24 years, DSBN students have won dozens of provincial and national skills medals. Last year, six DSBN students landed gold at provincials, and six more earned silver and bronze. And one of those, Madison Ruddell at Stamford Collegiate, went on to earn Gold at Skills Canada in Hairstyling. Success in these challenges is often noticed by many employers, who recognize students’ skills and potential.


Are you interested in learning a skilled trade or technology? Visit our DSBN Technological Education website to see what skills you can learn at the DSBN: It is always an option to contact your secondary school to find out how you can access these programs.

"Why do the DSBN Skills Challenges matter to you?"

"Because I'm able to further expand my knowledge of automotive service in addition to what I learn in my classes. I've done the challenges the last two years and really enjoy them. I was even the DSBN Gold medalist last year!" 

                                                - Jordan Denobriga, Port Colborne High School

"I like joining the Skills Ontario CAD competitions where I was able to compete against other students from other schools all across Ontario. It gives me a lot of incentive to see what other skills are out there, and to keep improving my own skills in Architectural CAD (Computer Aided Design)." 
                                                - Sylvia Fedak, AN Myer