Knot Your Traditional Classroom Activity

Learning Made Fun at the Silver King Campus


Students in the trades programs at Selkirk College’s Silver King Campus squared-off in the annual Knot Tying Competition on Tuesday in Nelson.

The fifth annual pre-Christmas event had teams of students from the Millwright/Machinist Program, Welding Program and Carpentry Foundation Program manipulating rope as more than 100 of their peers cheered them on.

Carpentry knot one

Students in the Millwright/Machinist Program, Welding Program and Carpentry Foundation Program locked horns in the fifth annual Knot Tying Competition on Nelson's Silver King Campus.

“The purpose at its heart is to properly learn some knots for rigging and you throw a little competition in there to add some excitement,” said Carpentry Foundation Instructor Dan Brazeau. “It’s also nice to bring some of the trades programs together and it gets the students socializing a little more outside the small circle of their class.”

Putting Skills to the Test with Seven Different Knots

Teams of three stepped up to earn their program the bragging rights. Students earned points for their program by beating other competitors in timed heats that had them tying seven different kinds of knots including bowline, timber, figure eight, carrick and clove.

“We started practicing our knots in the first week of school, so we had a bit of head start,” said Carpentry Foundation student Jeff Shaw, who came from Calgary in September to attend Selkirk College.

carpentry knot two

Carpentry Foundation Program students (L-R) James Stone, Jeff Shaw and Jack Sturrup claimed the annual Knot Tying Competition at Nelson’s Silver King Campus on Tuesday.

Shaw and classmates James Stone and Jack Sturrup ended up narrowly defeating the Welding Program team to claim the trophy. Shaw said before arriving to Nelson four months ago, he hadn’t put much thought into tying knots.

“I had absolutely no idea how to tie anything before starting this program,” said Shaw. “We do it every morning before we start class, so you catch on.”

The focus of the competition is fun, but Brazeau said there is an important educational element involved.

“I started doing it as part of the curriculum,” said Brazeau, who has been teaching at Selkirk College for four years. “I really notice that when the students arrive in the morning, if we take 10 minutes to have a quick competition amongst ourselves they are so much more awake and alert for the rest of the morning. It’s a great strategy for warming up, it’s fun and it’s educational.”


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