Leeds, Grenville and Lanark area students show STEM skills for shot to compete at provincial level

Photo submitted by Upper Canada District School Board

What began as a one-school initiative in 2018 has grown into a competitive event that challenges Lanark, Leeds and Grenville students in STEM and trades skills, and gives them the opportunity to compete further in Toronto.

On April 9, approximately 120 Grade 7/8 students from 11 schools across the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) gathered in Kemptville to compete in the 2024 SKLZ Competition.

Teams of students worked on five categories of building: Green Energy (turbine building), Technology Challenge (hydraulic mining challenge), Construction Challenge (tiny homes), LEGO Mechanical Engineering and LEGO Robotics.

The competition incorporates problem solving, design challenges and teamwork.

Participating schools included Glengarry District High School, Pleasant Corners Public School, Seaway District High School, Russell High School, Char-Lan District High School, Athens District High School, St. Lawrence Secondary School, Carleton Place High School, Rideau District High School, North Grenville District High School and North Dundas District High School.

Judges for the event included a coordinator from the Wind Turbine Technician Program at St. Lawrence College, representatives from the Mining Industry Human Resources Council and Local 93 Carpenters Union, two building systems specialists from the UCDSB, retired engineer and Ward 5 Trustee Michel Labonte and a secondary school construction teacher.

“We thank them for their help in making this event a success,” states a media release from the UCDSB.

Gold medal winners from each event will now move on to the Skills Ontario Competition in Toronto on May 6. 

Results of UCDSB students moving on are outlined below:

Green Energy:

  1. Glengarry DHS: Shahnoor Bajwa, Callan MacDonald, Shaelynn MacLeod, Mae Ella McCormick
  2. Char-Lan DHS: Mac Menard, Billy Cordner, Lily Major, Mila Kinloch
  3. Seaway DHS: Julianne Barnum, Garrett Templeton, Seb Desrosiers, Lincoln Robinson


  1. Char-Lan DHS: Jade Malyon, Reeghan O’Farrell, Lexa Lalonde, Olivia Tyo
  2. Glengarry DHS: Lucy Cox, Cedric Jund, Kees McIntosh, Greg Oud
  3. St. Lawrence SS: Patrick Bugajski, Muhammad Jan, Shabir Sultani, Grace Tokali


  1. Glengarry DHS: Keaton MacKinnon, Callum MacPherson, Xavier Stang, Ben Wood
  2. Char-Lan DHS: Wyatt Rombough, Grant Small, Karianne Boyer, Adessa Brennan
  3. Pleasant Corners PS: Reuben Zihlmann, Emma Beraha, Declan Ingram, Evalie Funke

LEGO Mechanical Engineering:

  1. Carleton Place: Nick Culhane, Simon Leger, Thomas Ogilvie, William Phillips
  2. Rideau: Emmett Darling, Siôn Thomas, Blake Thomas, Jane French
  3. North Grenville: Kari McKay, Dawson Gilchrist, Addison Kleiss

LEGO Robotics:

  1. Rideau DHS: Emmett Darling, Siôn Thomas, Blake Thomas, Jane French
  2. Char-Lan: Brooklyn Murray, Saranniya Kugananthan, Mia St. Louis
  3. North Grenville: Matthew Grus, Sam McDermott, Jordan Christopher, Madden Leonard

A video documenting the event, produced by two Grade 7 students, is available on the UCDSB YouTube Channel.

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