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Video skills earn Wellesley PS pair a second-place finish at provincials

Adam Weber, Walker Schott, Noah Zeller and Nathan Hergott will represent Elmira District Secondary School in the carpentry event at the Skills Canada provincial competition May 4-6 at RIM Park in Waterloo. [Scott Barber / The Observer]

Wellesley students Jacquiline Bender and Noelle Marshall’s gold medal Video and Editing win at the Waterloo Region Technological Skills Competition in March earned them a coveted spot at provincials earlier this month, where they finished in second place – a first for Wellesley Public School.

Noelle Marshall and Jacquiline Bender were second at the provincial Skills competition, a first for Wellesley Public School.[Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Noelle Marshall and Jacquiline Bender were second at the provincial Skills competition, a first for Wellesley Public School. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Competing against 22 students from across Ontario, the Grade 8 students were only told what their task would be once they got to the competition. They then had eight hours to plan, film, and edit it.

“You had to show what it’s like to be at Skills. We got the opportunity to walk around and videotape what it’s like to be there and what you get to do,” Marshall said.

She continued, “It was basically just showing what it’s like to be there – all the people, all the opportunities – because just being in elementary school there’s not a lot of skills you can do, but when you go into high school there’s a lot more.”

It was called the “essence of Skills” and was supposed to be created like a commercial. Bender said they were judged on creativity, angles, types of shots, their storyboard, the quality of the video, and editing.

“We had to have five out of 10 things in our video, such as cooking pans, goggles, we each had to be in it, the logo, and some other options,” Bender said.

Bender says they started their video by showing some of the different Skills competitions, like culinary challenges and welding. Then they explained what it was like for them to be there and the new experiences and friends they’d made.

“I think it was just an honour to go to provincials and be able to participate and go against teams who have won gold at regionals,” Bender said.

Having minimal camera experience before participating in Skills, she said she was able to learn a lot about camera angles and editing in iMovie through Marshall’s knowledge.

Marshall said shooting the video was difficult at times because the event was open to the public and people would walk in front of the camera. But it was also neat to see the different skills you could compete in, like robotics and even things likes makeup or massage.

“It felt good to get second in all of Ontario because we understand the private schools have been learning about this for a long time,” Marshall said.

She said the experience helped her learn how to be more collaborative by working with Bender, instead of just working independently – a skill which proves useful regardless which career path you choose.

Teacher Jacalyn Beck says the Skills competition offers a unique experience to students, especially for those whose schools can’t provide all sorts of specialty classes like video editing.

“I leant them a camera to use, we could never provide that many for the school,” Beck said.

“The Lego robotics and mechanics and stuff like that we just can’t provide to all the students, so if they go they get exposed to something they wouldn’t normally which is awesome.”

Teacher Joe Donofrio agreed, noting it’s an opportunity for students with a certain set of interests to dive head first into new experiences.

“I’m really happy I got involved with it this year,” Donofrio said. “It was a first year for me and I learned so much from all of you guys.”

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