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Local Students Soar To The Top Spot In Skills Ontario Paper Glider Competition

KAWARTHA LAKES – Some local students recently glided to the top spot, receiving gold, silver and bronze medals at the Skills Ontario Paper Glider Competition.

According to Trillium Lakelands District School Board, TLDSB, Skills Ontario offers a variety of opportunities for students to demonstrate creativity, skills, and knowledge of the skilled trades. When Skills Ontario was forced to go virtual and reinvent the competition, students were eager to jump on board, TLDSB said.

Students were asked to design and build a glider plane made of household items. Their submissions included detailed blueprints, photographs, and lists demonstrating their effective use of materials and safety practices. The final task was to create a video. The test was to see how long the glider could stay in the air.

For TLDSB [email protected] teacher, Lindsey Wesselink, her entire Grade 8 class joined the competition and her students Nathan Barnes and Abby Coles claimed two of the top spots.

Barnes, Grade 8 [email protected] student, received gold and he is excited to head to the provincial championships with submissions due on February 24.

Nathan Barnes Paper Glider
Nathan Barns Paper Glider

For Barnes and Coles, the advancement has been exciting and has inspired them to improve their creations with new innovative techniques and designs.

“It was fun to see all the different designs,” said Barnes, “I had a few different designs and made some corrections until the plane was perfect.”

Barnes constructed his glider using paper, wood skewers and hot glue. For the provincial championships, the contestants are asked to enhance their submissions.

According to Wesselink, competitors are required to add weight to their plane by using coins and adhesive. They are to attach as many coins as possible while keeping their aircraft in the air the longest.

“I think it’s new, different and innovative, it’s hands-on learning,” she said. “I hope they recognize the different opportunities that are available to them, in skilled trades, there are so many opportunities available to them.”

Wesselink noted that her students began working on their projects in September and continued to do so for about a month.

“The assignment was pretty specific, these guys did such an awesome job,” she said. “I think it’s a great opportunity, we did it because for some it’s not their thing but for others, they thrive on it, these two knocked it out of the ballpark.”

For Coles, it was an exciting opportunity to participate in the completion and she is ambitiously planning her next glider for the championships.

“It was pretty exciting, I did a bunch of flight tests and I tried to improve it each time,” said Coles. “ It’s fun making up a design and actually making the sketch a real thing.”

And she is optimistic about her new design for the championships.

“I think I’m going to try to make my design better and try to make it go further and stay in the air more, and add art onto it,” she explained.

This year, the Skills Ontario Paper Glider Competition had over 70 entries from a variety of school boards.

Congratulations to the following TLDSB entries on winning the 2020-2021 Skills Ontario Paper Glider Competition at the regional level for the Near Northern Region:

  • Gold – Grade 8 [email protected] student Nathan Barnes
  • Silver – Bracebridge Public School students Simone Daleman, Tara Murray, Leah Hayhoe, and Duncan Ley
  • Bronze – Grade 8 [email protected] student Abby Coles

The teams will now be advancing to the championship round to compete against medalists from all regions at the elementary level.

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Jennifer Walker
Jennifer decided to study journalism after having a life long passion for writing. She began her career as a reporter for the Uxbridge Times Journal and moved on to freelance work for various publications after her and her husband welcomed their daughters. She has been published in various Durham Region newspapers, the Durham Parent Magazine as well as Equine Wellness. Jennifer continues to follow her dreams as a wife, mother and journalist and is so excited to join the team at Kawartha411.

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