Ontario students will make a splash at Skills Ontario Cardboard Boat Races

Oct 24 2016

cardboard boat raceStudents from across Ontario may be sailing their way to a career in the skilled trades and technologies - while having a boatload of fun!

The Cardboard Boat Races seek to introduce students to skills such as construction and building, planning and design, teamwork, and workplace safety that are required for today’s highly-skilled workforce in Ontario. Sponsored by 3M and Norampac Cascades, Skills Ontario Cardboard Boat Races connect education, hands-on experience, and employability skills.

The Skills Ontario Cardboard Boat Races draw nearly 1500 competitors in 14 cities from 250 schools in Ontario each year. The premise is simple: teams of four are provided all the necessary materials to build a boat in just two hours. Students must bring their problem-solving, teamwork and design skills as they create a seaworthy structure out of two sheets of 4’ by 8’ corrugated cardboard and some duct tape. Students are judged on construction, speed, weight, and team spirit categories. Meanwhile, video teams work to capture the best footage for their video submissions for the video challenge.

Winners at each race qualify to compete against youth across Ontario in the Cardboard Boat Race Championships in Waterloo (date TBD). Will this year’s group of students break the all-time provincial records? 


“Skills Ontario is committed to preparing Ontario’s youth for the highly-skilled economy of tomorrow,” says Gail Smyth, Executive Director of Skills Ontario. “The Cardboard Boat Races is such a fun way to connect education, hands-on experience, and employability skills for young people.”

Quick Facts

  • The Cardboard Boat Race competition is growing: races will be held in Belleville and Sault Ste. Marie for the first time in 2016-17
  • The Weight Record is a total weight of 1411 pounds -- that’s the equivalent of nearly six baby elephants!
  • In 2008-2009 the Speed Record was set at 10.73 seconds

Associated Links


2016-17 Race Schedule:

Elementary Races

Secondary Races

Thursday October 27th , 2016 

  • o   Marathon High School, Marathon

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

o Sir Winston Churchill CVI, Thunder Bay

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

  • o   o Sir Winston Churchill CVI, Thunder Bay
  • Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

o Espanola High School, Espanola*

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

o Wayne Gretzky Centre, Brantford

o Thornlea Secondary School, Markham

  • Thursday December 1st, 2016

               o YMCA - Sault Ste Marie

Wednesday, January 25, 2016

o Confederation Education Centre, Ottawa 1*

  • Tuesday December 6th , 2016

              o Swansea Public School, Toronto

              o H.B. Beal Secondary, London

Thursday, January 26, 2017

o A.B. Ellis Public School, Espanola

o Confederation Education Centre, Ottawa 2*

  • Thursday December 8 th, 2016

              o Confederation EC, Ottawa*


Tuesday January 31, 2017

o Swansea Public School, Toronto


Wednesday , February 1, 2017

o Quinte Sports Centre, Belleville


Friday, February 3, 2017

o Centennial CVI, Guelph


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

o North Huron Wescast Community Center, Wingham





About Skills Ontario

Skills Ontario is building Ontario’s skilled trades and technologies workforce.  We enable and empower all youth, including women and Aboriginal youth, to consider a career in the skilled trades and technologies. Engagement with students, teachers, parents, volunteers, employers and mentors ensure our programs connect education, experience, and employment. We deliver in-school presentations across Ontario, host Canada’s largest skills competition, run a summer camp for skills development and connect students to employers. We are focused on growth sectors such as construction and infrastructure, technology innovation, and hospitality services.

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Media contact

Anne Ramsay, Manager of Communications, Skills Ontario

519-749-9899 x 230 |aramsay@skillsontario.com 

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