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Algonquin students think outside the box

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Nov 10, 2012 - 9:16 AM |

Grade 8 students from Algonquin Road Public School captured top honours in the group category at the Ontrak 2x4 Innovation Challenge held at NORCAT Oct. 27.

Kate Richards, Shawn Lenoir and Ben Kovala produced animated ice-fishing tipups that beat out competitors from secondary schools.

Another competitor who made her mark was Olivia Labelle, a Grade 12 student at Espanola High School. She impressed the judges with her innovative fence post that had the ability to hide keys.

The Ontrak 2x4 Innovation Challenge tested the students’ creativity and woodworking skills. Students were challenged to create something innovative using a 2x4 that was no more than eight feet long and common fasteners such as nails, screws and glue.

Other Grade 6, 7 and 8 students at Algonquin also participated in the competition. In total, seven projects were submitted from the school.

“The project that Kate, Shawn and Ben submitted was truly innovative,” Algonquin principal Bob Deeth said in a press release.

“We are so proud of our students. The ice-fishing tip-ups do jumping jacks when a fish is caught. Not only are they fun to look at, the main components are designed with a friction fit so the units can be unpacked and assembled in less than a minute.”

First prize for the group competition was a CNC Router valued at $10,000. The prize included a table, controller, full-safety enclosure and a Dell computer package equipped with i-Picture software for carving applications and ArtCAM software for CNC operations.

“The router will be used to engage students in problem-solving activities during technological studies classes,” Deeth said. “They will be able to create advanced prototypes that will look and function like commercial quality products. We hope to use the router to create fundraising products for our school.”

The main focus of the judging in the Ontrak 2x4 Innovation Challenge was on design innovation. The judging panel included Tom Fortin, Engineering Manager of ONTRAK Control Systems; Don Duval, Chief Executive Officer of NORCAT and Roger Goegan, HP EUC Regional Lead for Vale operations.

Students spent two weeks creating their projects and are already looking forward to next year’s competition.

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