Changing spark plugs and removing belts from a ride-on lawn mower and taking apart a two-stroke engine are among the assignments that Holly Tulurialik has confronted at Skills Canada nationals in Halifax.
Removing the flywheel is the trickiest part of dismantling an engine, she said.
She’s also been building circuits to get a better understanding of electrical components in Skills Canada’s outdoor power and recreation equipment division.
Tulurialik is going into Grade 12 at Netsilik School in Taloyoak in the fall. It was a teacher who got in her interested in mechanics and small engine repair last year, she said.
“I went to the after-school activity and we were doing it for a while until (territorials),” she said.
At nationals, Tulurialik isn’t bent on winning a medal since it’s her first time getting exposure against the best competitors in the country.
“I’m happy to learn and have the experience so I know what I can do in the future,” she said.
Although she was the only female competitor in the outdoor power and recreation equipment category, it didn’t faze her.
“It’s OK. Girls can do it too, not just guys,” she said. “Girls have power.”
Her career path may be in mechanics or it may be as a conservation officer, she said. Either way, she’d like to have the ability to repair a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle, she said.
While in Halifax, she also had a chance to travel to scenic Peggy’s Cove and see the iconic lighthouse.
“It’s beautiful,” she said.
She also went to lobster dinner with her Team Nunavut peers, although she stopped short of tasting the shelled fish.
“I never ate one before and I’m afraid to try new foods,” she said, smiling. “I just watched my friends and I was enjoying watching them eat.”