KAWARTHA LAKES – Nathan Barnes has recently broadened his horizons as he spread his wings and flew into the top spot as the Elementary School Provincial Champion in the Skills Ontario Paper Glider Competition.
In January, Barnes competed at the Regional Division Competition and qualified for the Provincial Championship round. Barnes, a [email protected] student, competed against medalists from all regions and was challenged to revamp his original glider designs to improve stability and flight times. He was faced with adding weight using coins as a new obstacle.
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.
On March 11, Skills Ontario hosted a live Paper Glider Competition: Champion Winners Announcement Ceremony. Barnes watched the ceremony with his class, to hear the announcement that he had won gold in the elementary division.
“It was really cool to see how many different designs there were and the experience of it all was so awesome,” he said.
In January, 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. Barnes constructed his original glider using paper, wood skewers and hot glue.
TLDSB [email protected] teacher, Lindsey Wesselink noted that her students, including Barnes, 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.”
Wesselink, proudly watched her entire Grade 8 class join the competition. Two of her students, Barnes and Abby Coles claimed two of the top spots and headed to the championships.
“I think it’s new, different and innovative, it’s hands-on learning,” said Wesselink. “I hope they recognize the different opportunities that are available to them, in skilled trades, there are so many opportunities available to them.”