The Skills Canada Nunavut At Home Skills Challenge is taking another tasty direction this week with the build a burger cooking challenge.

Piunnguallaq (Piu Piu) Kusugak of Rankin Inlet took top spot for grades one to five in Skills Canada Nunavut’s great cookie bake off as part of its At Home Skills Challenge earlier this month.
photo courtesy of Skills Nunavut

Skills Canada Nunavut launched the At Home Skills Challenge as a way to continue to help students learn skills in the trades, services and technology sectors in wake of the closure of all Nunavut schools for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year due to Covid-19.

The program sees a new At Home Skills Challenge released each Monday, with students having until the following Friday to send a photo of themselves doing the challenge, as well as a photo of their finished product.

The burger challenge began this past Monday, April 27, and this time around the entire family is asked to get involved, pooling their creativity to come up with a unique burger using any variety of patty and bun to fuel their creative juices.

The use of country food and homemade bun is encouraged as families have fun working together to create their own culinary masterpiece.

The deadline for the family build-a-burger challenge is May 1, with Skills Canada Nunavut awarding $50 gift cards to the top entry in three groups; grades one to five, grades six to eight and grades nine to 12.

Arviat’s Gord Billard has volunteered his time for a number of years to coach local youth competing in the TV-and-video-production segment of the annual Skills Canada Nunavut competition in Iqaluit.

Billard said those responsible for the Iqaluit competition have always been passionate about getting kids involved with skill trades, and the At Home Skills Challenge is a creative way to continue those efforts while Nunavut schools are closed.

He said everyone involved was disappointed when this year’s Skills Nunavut competition had to be cancelled, so, when he saw skills at home coming up on his Facebook feed, he began boosting the challenge on his school’s Facebook page to encourage local kids to take part in it.

I saw it as a really cool initiative and a cool way to keep kids involved and in touch with Skills despite the fact this year’s competition has been cancelled,” said Billard.

As soon as I saw it on the Skills Canada Nunavut Facebook page, I immediately shared it with our school’s page to encourage the students here in Arviat to participate in it.

I give the folks at Skills Nunavut kudos for keeping on the go in the midst of a very trying situation, and making sure kids were still aware of, and involved in, activities that promote the skill trades.

I’ve always been a big advocate for the skill trades because, I think, that’s where most of our students will gravitate towards when they graduate from high school rather than university and the academic pursuits – Nunavut is in dire need of all skill-trades people in all areas – hairdressing, plumbing, carpentry, you name it – and the skill trades, I think, are key to kids having a viable career where they can stay in the territory and do good for themselves here.”

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