ARKHANGELSK. October 30. /TASS/. The Northern Arctic Federal University (NArFU) hosted for the first time the WorldSkill Russia qualifying tournament.
Between October 25 and 27, the students competed in five competences: Software Solutions for Business, Engineering Design, Entrepreneurship, Laboratory Chemical Tests and the Internet of Things.
The University is very proud of Nadezhda Onegina, everyone calls her "our zvezdochka (star)." This sounds rather ambiguous, as the "zvezdochka" works at Sevmash while the Zvezdorcha and the Sevmash are the biggest shipbuilding plants in the city of Severodvinsk. In September, the third-year student took the fourth position at the corporate WorldSkills competition of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. There, the student competed with professionals, who have big experience. The University’s branch cooperates actively with industrial enterprises in Severodvinsk, therefore Nadezhda is involved already in projecting there. "Cutters, drills, milling knives, a variety of calibration and measuring tools," she cites with a smile. "This is what I can name, but all the rest is secret!"
Nobody seemed to be surprised that the future engineer was above all competitors at the championships at the University. Noteworthy, among the participants in the Engineering Design competence she was the only girl. "I am the only girl in the group, too," she said. "We are 14, and the rest are boys."
In that competence, the participants were to make a 3D model of a part of the internal combustion engine. The competence’s expert Alexei Morozov demonstrated the drawings, the contestants were using at that moment, and said the task was extremely complicated, and besides, it was creative. "Even a school student can draw simple 3D model, but a person should have the engineering thinking, should be an expert in geometry and strength of materials, should imagine how the machine would be working afterwards, otherwise one may create something that would not ever be working. And one and the same model may be drawn in five operations, or in 25, which is irrational already," he said.
Nadezhda says the success comes from the teachers - they have taught well, though adds she had been studying many programs on her own. "Since childhood I was interested in engineering. My parents are doctors. Though by grand-father was an engineer," she said.
Regulations of the competitions were very strict: nobody is allowed beyond a red line when the participants were working there, in some competences no photos of monitors were allowed. A count-down is displayed on a big screen. Deputy head of the chief expert in the Business Solutions competence Ivan Miklyayev said the task there was unsolvable from the very beginning. "Within 14 hours, the participants are to make up an information system for organization of an industrial process - the sewing: all purchases, orders, making, list of the assets, all the cycle. Not a software engineer works in such conditions - usually a task of the kind takes weeks or even months," he said, explaining the participants were to pick the most important and not to go into details.
The winner in this competence was a 4-year student in Applied Informatics, Evgeny Gusak, says that was exactly the approach he chose. "I think, I have won because I have chosen the unique style of making the code, focused on it, not on doing all. The main task was to use the main functions and to think over the interface, which should be convenient for users," the software student said. The competence’s expert said the level of works in that direction at WorldSkills is such that "just add a couple of days, and it is ready to work."
Four-year students in Financial Management Svetlana Yermakova and Ekaterina Orlova, winners in the Entrepreneurship competence, tried to mind all the components: the economic, the environmental and the social, as well as the fact production of the kind does not exist in the Arkhangelsk region. "Our business idea is to organize a facility, where used tires would be processed into rubber crumb, which is a popular covering material for playgrounds, which is used in construction of roads - the sphere of its use is very vast," the winners said.
The idea’s implementation, they continued, would require the investments of about six million rubles ($103,163), the payback period would be two years. "We have checked the statistics in the region: the material, equipment, sources of financial means - the banking system, investors." When asked how much realistic the project is, they say everything would depend on what subsidies could be attracted, and stressed it would be important to find investors. "As yet, our project means the key financing comes from borrowed money, but borrowing five million is a risk. It would be necessary to find an option to cut this component."
Meanwhile, the students would continue working on the project to make it a part of their graduation paper and will get ready for the WorldSkills competition among universities, due in Moscow.
The University says the competitions in professional skills are very useful both for students and for the university. "Here, we are facing a practical, realistic task. This is not an academic competition or a test, where the biggest share is the theory; here we see the practical aspect. The participants are facing the tasks, which are important worldwide," chief expert of the Business Solutions competence Ekaterina Demenkova said.
According to her, the championships now feature the best of the best, but many solutions from the competition of professional skills may be integrated in the educational processes. The University will continue participating in WorldSkills and will expand the number of competences in the competitions.
WorldSkills (dubbed in Russia as Young Professionals) is an international non-commercial movement, aimed at raising prestige of working specialties, status and standards of professional training in a country or in the world. The movement, which was founded in 1953, nowadays features 76 participating countries. The world championships are in 45 professional competences. Russia became the 60th member of WorldSkills International in 2012.