2017-2018 Technology and Applied Arts Year in Review

The 2017-2018 school year was an exciting time in the TAA wing of West Kildonan. Here is a snapshot of a few of the exciting happenings, activities and projects students were involved in this past year…

1)The Power of the Laser

West Kildonan was fortunate to have received a SSEEF (Skills Strategy Equipment Enhancement Fund) grant from the Manitoba Department of Education through which we were able to purchase a laser engraver/cutter for use in our programs. The machine was instantly put to use by students in our Engineering, Robotics, Electronics and Woods classes. With the machine students are able to gain experience designing, modelling and creating custom parts for their projects as well as using the engraving function to personalize projects.


2) Electronics

Students worked on a variety of projects throughout the year including:

  • A hovercraft challenge in which teams of students had to design and create a functioning RC hovercraft.

West Kildonans Hovercraft - Subzero

  • The design and creation of an automated chicken coop door for a local market gardener


  • A free design challenge in which students had to design and create a functioning LED lamp using only a 14 x 8 inch piece of plywood. The results of which were very unique and creative!
  • Learning about manipulation of electricity through the “useless machine” project


3) Engineering

It was an exciting year in the engineering classroom this past year. Through creative design work and quality project construction students were able to break three previous West Kildonan Engineering class records!

  • The mousetrap car distance challenge: The design of Parker Hackett and Brendan Shearer traveled an astonishing 112 ft. 6 in. breaking the previous record by 4 feet (which stood for 7 years!)20180612_093925
  • The CO2 dragster challenge – Engineering student Jaron Pilat broke the 1 second barrier, sending his dragster design down the hallway in an incredible 0.939 seconds!20180612_093956
  • Wind Turbine Challenge – Students Zachary Finchfield and Darren Smith smashed the previous class record by having their wind turbine design generate an amazing 9.7V20180606_112313

4) Robotics

West K’s robotics class was able to purchase some new robotics kits this year to update our program. The VEX EDR robotics kits allowed students to be creative with their robot designs while learning about several aspects of mechanical design – gear ratios, torque, mechanical advantage, as well as RC electronics.

This year West Kildonan competed in the Manitoba Skills Robotics Competition. Grade 12 students Kenny Nguyen and Manmeet Maan created “MANNY” the pipeline laying robot. Though they encountered some challenges at the competition, the robot these students created was an achievement that made West K proud! After months of hard work and problem solving Kenny and Manmeet created an engineering marvel that was truly reflective of their abilities as hardworking and creative students.


5) West K Guitar Club

On Wednesday and Thursday evenings this past semester it was common place to hear Iron Maiden blasting from the woodshop as students were hard at work on the electric guitar builds. We have had a variety of different guitar styles being built. It was the first year of the program at West K and it was certainly a success.


6) High Altitude Balloon Challenge

For the second year in a row the physics students and TAA students joined forces to create a payload to send into the stratosphere via a high altitude balloon. Our payload, named ICARUS II, was launched from Alonsa Manitoba on April 27th. It reached a peak altitude of 33384m (109,527 ft) and was successfully recovered from a farmers field north east of Winkler after a 2 hour and 46 minute flight. The payload was equipped with high definition cameras and a 360 degree camera which was able to capture stunning footage along the flight.

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