Valerie Allan | Jun 17, 2010

On May 18, one of North Addington Education Centre’s students represented “Team Limestone” at the Ontario Skills Competition at the R.I.M. Park in Kitchener/Waterloo. Eighteen hundred students from around Ontario competed, and 30,000 visitors attended this showcase of student skills. Charles James, a Grade 9 student, participated in the Prepared Speech competition.  He had previously competed in the Limestone Board of Education Skills Competition for the honour of representing “Team Limestone” at the provincial level.  

Charles joined a busload of students and teachers from the Limestone Board of Education on a trip that included two nights away. Students competed in a variety of events, from landscaping and other traditional technological subjects to new high-tech subjects such as robotics, photography and web-site design.  

Charles mirrored the high-tech portion of the competition by speaking on the subject of Artificial Intelligence, or A.I. He traced the development of A.I. and speculated on the future application of this technology, including medical applications such as implants to help the blind see.     

Charles’s mother, Bev, and sister, Cassandra joined with his grandmother, Veronica, to cheer Charles on and give him support. The family toured the other competitions, after the Prepared Speech competition, and was particularly interested in the robotics competitions, which featured some suspenseful “races” to complete tasks.

Charles placed 8th in a field of 17 speakers, who were mostly in Grade 11 or 12. The M.C. in the Closing Ceremonies noted that everyone who attended was a winner, as they had already had to compete in one or two competitions to make it to the provincial level.  

Charles, however, expressed a determination to return next year and improve his standing.

“We are all very proud of Charles,” remarked NAEC Principal Angela Salmond. “To take on so many students, most older than he, was a great challenge.  We feel he represented NAEC, as well as ‘Team Limestone’, with great poise.”

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