By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
On Apr. 8, high school students from across southern Alberta will compete in Catholic Central High School’s wood shop in Lethbridge during the 2016 Southern Alberta High School Cabinet Making Competition. The contest was created to provide high school construction technologies students the opportunity to demonstrate their cabinet making and problem solving skills, as well as participate in a manageable and enjoyable competition recognizing best practices and projects.
All materials used in the competition and prizes for top competitors will be provided by sponsors. The project will be a small cabinet of some type such as a night stand, bookcase, side table or medicine cabinet.
According to a recent media release, some of the skills and knowledge to be tested during the competition will include tool and shop safety, use of woodworking machines and power tools and hand tools, accurate measuring and milling of stock, time management and interpretation of drawings and specifications.
Judges will include a red seal cabinet maker, a teacher and hobbyist woodworker and a farmer/local builder.
Space is limited to only 16 competitors and each school may send up to two competitors. Competitors will be registered on a first come first serve basis and students can be registered by e-mailing their name and school to Devin Mulder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Devon Farrar, high school off-campus education co-ordinator for the Holy Spirit School Division, said organizers are trying to promote the trades — cabinet making in particular and problem solving skills.
“The way we’re choosing to do it is a little bit of a mini skills competition in cabinet making. The kids are going to be given a day to try and build the best type of small cabinet that is then going to be judged based on the criteria that they have set out. Things like safety, their cuts and dimensions, their assembly and then their sanding and finishing,” she noted.
Promoting trades within the schools is one of the objectives of the competition, Farrar said.
“In Alberta, as a whole, there is a huge lack of skilled trades people. The idea is to try and spark interest and show students there are career paths that they can take. We do this in a variety of different ways. We take students on tours all the time to the university and college and businesses throughout the city but this is just a different way to tap into different skills these kids might have and don’t maybe even realize that they have,” Farrar said.
She added the competition is open to every school division in southern Alberta.