Kalamalka Secondary Grade 11 student Riley Bapty showcased her future in ranching Wednesday, Jan. 15. The students’ Career Life Connections capstone projects wrap in May 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Cows, cars and more: Coldstream secondary students show off capstone projects

Kalamalka Secondary seniors displayed Career Life Connections capstone projects Jan. 15

From starting a cattle herd from scratch to building an electric 1979 Camaro, the capstone projects at Kalamalka Secondary are a glimpse into local senior students’ ambitious future goals.

Close to 60 students at the Coldstream school presented their Career Life Connections capstone projects Wednesday afternoon.

The projects are a new addition to the B.C. curriculum, designed to encourage Grade 11-12 students to examine the skills and passions they hope to carry on with after graduation, and to put them to practical use.

“The kids have put a lot of good work and time and thinking into these projects,” said career education teacher Ian Busfield. “It’s an important piece for them because they get to showcase the skills that they’ve developed throughout their school years.”

Riley Bapty isn’t a senior yet, but the Grade 11 student has a clear picture of what she wants to do post-graduation. As the banner over her display announces, her future (and present) is in ranching.

Bapty has been in 4H since she was 13, and after winning a bursary from the Canadian Junior Angus Association she found herself with $2,000 with which to buy her first heifer.

“Her registered name is ‘GTA Black Breakout Miss 823G,’ but I call her Aurora,” she said.

“We went to Alberta and I bought her there, and from here I’ll breed her to a few purebred Angus bulls, hoping to get heifers so then I can keep growing my herd a little bit more,” she said. “Eventually I want to go into crossbreds and have my own bull sale.”

Bapty’s father cowboys at Coldstream Ranch, and she herself has been ranching her whole life. She says the timing of the bursary aligned perfectly with the start of the capstone project at her school.

Looking around at the displays in the common area, Bapty said she’s enjoyed the insights into the personal interests of her peers.

“I don’t really know a ton about them except for my close friends, so it’s really interesting to see what they’re interested in.”

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One of her peers has an interest in cars, mechanical engineering and pushing the boundaries of what we expect to see beneath the hood of certain vehicles.

Grade 12 student Jared Nickoli is halfway through the process of restoring a 1979 Chevrolet Camaro. He bought the car for $800 last May and with no motor or transmission, the car was a shell (literally and figuratively) of its former glory. That made it an ideal starting point for an electric overhaul.

“Learning about climate change and stuff like that, I figured that I could lead by example and show that yes, we’re going to make the switch to electric and we’re going to show the old car community that you don’t have to use a V8 motor with the most horsepower to have a sweet ride,” he said.

About $6,000 into the project he’s got the drivetrain, motor and transmission ready, and just needs to get the batteries and electrics in order. Finding those parts will be easier than the pieces he needed earlier, but they pose another challenge.

“We’re going to need 30 to 34 batteries eventually, and each one costs $350,” explained Nickoli. “I’m hoping to get sponsors for some local people to contribute to the car, and then I can put their logo on the side of the car too.”

Nickoli’s electric Camaro ties into his future goal of designing electric vehicles that anyone can own – similar to what Ford did with the Model T, what Volkswagen did with the Beetle and what Toyota has accomplished with the Corolla.

“I would love to develop an electric car that’s affordable, can do everything and can do everything pretty well.”

Nickoli regretted not having the car present at his display – the brakes weren’t ready, and the icy roads weren’t worth the risk. But he’ll have another opportunity; the students will have an even larger capstone showcase in May.

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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