A pair of Penticton high school students drafted their way to top-three placings at a regional Skills Canada competition.
Lucas Cleveland, 17, earned a silver medal in architectural computer-aided design, and Colin MacPhail, 15, took bronze in mechanical design. The boys, both from Princess Margaret Secondary School, faced off against other Okanagan students at the event in Kelowna. Each used a computer to complete a three-hour design challenge.
MacPhail’s task was to design retractable steps like those commonly attached to motorhomes. Despite finding the event “nerve-wracking,” he said the competition, which placed him in a classroom with about a dozen rivals, wasn’t as tough as he expected.
“I thought there would be more people, or it would be bigger, or it would be a lot harder,” he said.
Cleveland’s test was to modify a house design to replace a room, and add a wall and a few other elements on a set of drawings.
Now into his third year of drafting classes at Princess Margaret, he thinks he’s found his niche.
“I like building stuff and working on a computer, so this I thought would be a good course to take. And I enjoy it,” Cleveland said.
Teacher Patrick Whiteley, who’s been running drafting classes since 1989, said the school sends kids to the competition most years and top-three finishes aren’t uncommon.
“I think we’ve got a strong program. I think the kids who come in here are very dedicated to drafting and they want to learn,” he said.
“I know it’s one of the top programs in the Okanagan, because we do well every year.”
Gold medal winners from the regional skills competition are invited to compete on the national level. Skills Canada is a non-profit organization supported by government and industry that promotes careers related to trades and technology.