Discovery Day and Skills Competition Bring Hundreds of High School Students to VIU

Skills Canada

File photo from Skills Canada 2019 regional competition.

February 24, 2020 - 5:00pm

WHAT: Discovery Day 2020 and Skills BC Regional Competition at VIU

WHEN: Thursday, February 27, 2020

WHERE: Nanaimo campus, various locations, see Campus Map

While Vancouver Island University (VIU) students hit the books during reading break, more than 2,000 students from across the Island and Sunshine Coast will be taking their places on Thursday, February 27 for two popular annual events – Discovery Day and the Skills Canada British Columbia Vancouver Island Central competition.

Discovery Day, the University’s biggest on-campus event for high school students, showcases the programs and supports offered at VIU for prospective students. High school students in Grades 10-12 are invited to campus for a day of activities that includes a pep rally in the gym, open houses hosted by various faculties, free lunch, a chance to compete for prizes, free swag and a science demonstration that ends the day with a bang.

The Skills Canada competition brings students from Duncan to Nanaimo and Powell River to campus to compete for medals in a range of different trades, technology and skills categories, from welding and carpentry to hairdressing and robotics. Gold medal winners at the regional competition will compete in the provincial competition, held on April 15 at the Tradex in Abbotsford, for the chance to go to the national competition May 28-29 in Vancouver. To learn more, visit SkillsBC.



Jenn McGarrigle, External Communications Advisor, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6559 | C:  250.619.6860 | E:




Discovery Day: Activities below take place from 10 am – 12:30 pm unless otherwise indicated

  • Pep Rally: VIU Gym: 9:30 am – our Student Ambassadors get our guests fired up for a day of fun
  • The Skeleton Inside: Building 356, Room 209: Using real human skeletons and muscle, joint and organ models, students uncover some of the amazing anatomy inside every one of us
  • Nail Pounding Contest: Building 108: Students show off their prowess with a hammer and help assemble a residential building component
  • Top Chef – the VIU Edition: Building 300 (back of food service area): Students try out their kitchen skills in the culinary lab by making sushi cones and chocolate-dipped tuxedo/gown strawberries
  • Tire Change Competition: Building 150: Students participate in a NASCAR wheel-changing competition in the automotive shop
  • We Be Jammin’: Building 320, Room 105: Students participate in a jam session that involves body percussion exercises
  • Chemistry @ VIU: Building 210, fourth floor: Manipulate floating ink using surface tension to create some beautiful marbled paper and/or decode the secret message in our haiku scavenger hunt
  • Science Demonstration: 1 – 2 pm: VIU’s Chemistry department is ending the day with a bang, with a guest appearance from the Welding department


Skills Canada:

8:30 am: competitions start at VIU, with lunch at 11:45 am. The ideal time for photos is between 9:30 am and 11:30 am.


  • Automotive: Building 150
  • Culinary Arts: Building 300, Room 156
  • Carpentry: Building 108
  • Hairdressing: Building 164
  • Public Speaking: Building 180, Room 244
  • Robotics: Building 190 (gym)
  • Welding: Building 130
  • Workplace Safety: Building 190 (gym)
  • Junior Skills competitions:
    • Gear bots, gravity vehicle race, sumo robots and wind turbine: in Building 190
    • Spaghetti bridge building: Building 108, Room 105/110


  • Dover Bay Secondary: 3D computer animation, architectural CAD, fashion technology, graphic design
  • John Barsby Secondary: Photography
  • Nanaimo District Secondary School: Cabinetmaking

Tags: Community Engagement | Future Students | Announcements

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