Science fair being held in conjunction with Skills competition

A double whammy of events will make the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook an interesting and busy place to be this weekend.

A double whammy of events will make the College of the Rockies an interesting and busy place to be this weekend.

For the first time, the annual East Kootenay Science Fair is happening at the same time as the Kootenay region of Skills Canada’s BC competition.

The former is a gathering of hundreds of our future scientists — students from all over the region with their science and technology projects on display.

The skills competition on Friday is open to young people under the age of 24, who are not yet journeymen. They will be competing for honours in carpentry, cabinet-making, automotive service technology and welding skills.

The public has the opportunity to take in both these events.

The 2013 Annual East Kootenay Regional Science Fair begins Friday, March 1, at 9 a.m. at the COTR gym with judging of 112 projects created by 145 students from Grade 6 to Grade 12. The gym is open to the public at noon.

The awards for the competitive Science Fair participants will be from 2:15 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. Friday.

Saturday is the Science Fair’s non-competitive day, when 90 students from Kindergarten to Grade 5 bring their projects to the college to be presented and assessed, before they all get a chance to do science-related activities with kids from all over the East Kootenay.

Public viewing of non-competitive Science Fair projects on Saturday is open free of charge again at noon, and the awards ceremony for these youngest of scientists is held from 2:10 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. Saturday.

Skills BC is a non-profit organization that partners with government, educators, private industry and labour to promote and celebrate skilled trades and technologies. Thirteen regional and one provincial skills competitions take place each year. Winners of the regional competitions will advance to the Provincials in Abbotsford in April where they will have the chance of advancing to the National and World Skills competitions.

The medal ceremonies for the Skills Competitions are on Friday at 4 p.m.

“The competition serves to celebrate and reward students for their excellence in trade or technology skills and to create an interactive and engaging environment for the many young people who attend the competitions as spectators,” said Brian Conrad, COTR’s Regional Transitions Coordinator and co-chair of the Skills BC Steering Committee.

“These events are part of the provincial initiative to raise awareness of technical trades and of the rewards of these career options. We encourage parents and the public to also come to the College to check out the activities.”

As part of that initiative, more than 200 Grade 8 to 10 students from Creston, Kimberley, the Elk Valley and Cranbrook will be bussed to the College to observe the skills competitions, visit the Science Fair, and test out a trade with one of the exhibitors on-site.