Students from schools in the city of Alexander won top honors on Tuesday, April 19 for their participation in a regional tech fair held earlier this year.
During an education council meeting, students received certificates and medals for their outstanding inventions during the Alabama Consortium for Technology in Education Region 9 fair.
The Region 9 district encompasses school districts in Tallapoosa, Lee, Chambers, Macon, and Russell counties. However, Alexander City Schools is the only school to submit applications, as many schools abstained due to COVID-19 issues.
Even with a smaller virtual event, Regional Director Brigitte McCawley noted that AEC students performed well, winning 18 awards.
“Some students who might not be the ones to just jump into the limelight got a chance to show off skills that we might not otherwise have seen,” McCawley said. “Not all talents are on the football pitch, so I feel like this is just an alternative opportunity for them to be able to showcase those talents.”
Additionally, the fair helps students develop real-world skills that will serve as a solid foundation for potential careers.
“Starting these types of processes at such a young age just equips them even more for what they’re going to do. It makes such a difference if they have multiple opportunities and experiences and will feel so much more comfortable as they leave high school and enter college and the workforce,” she said.
McCawley explained that the fair provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge of technology and measure their mastery of technological and educational applications.
During the competition, students ninth through 12th grade showed off their talents in a variety of technology and robotics fields.
Some of the categories in which students competed included animation, computer programming, digital art, digital gaming, graphic design, hardware modification, mobile apps, 3D modeling, multimedia, robotics and video production.
Many of the students’ projects ranged from robotic machines, digital artwork, and video games. Some students have even created informational videos on topics such as anti-bullying or suicide prevention using camera equipment and video editing software.
The fair was held virtually at schools in Alexander City and hosted by the Alabama Consortium for Technology in Education, which for the past two decades has helped students, teachers and administrators prepare for the digital age.
Members of the AEC school board were particularly impressed with the success of the students.
“That’s the kind of stuff we signed up for. We love seeing it. Those resolutions and formalities are part of it, but we love seeing students and teachers maximizing their talents,” said Kevin Speaks, Board Chair. of ACS education.
Of the 32 ACS students who participated, 29 qualified for the state-level fair. This competition took place on April 8.
The results of the placement are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Alexander City Schools first and second place winners include:
Harris Goree and Grayson Lustic of Nathaniel H Stephens Elementary School, first place, group facilitation.
Parker Benefield of William L Radney Elementary School, first place, individual entertainment.
Patience Epps of William L Radney Elementary School, first place, individual digital art.
Destinee Dansby and Bentlee Mann of William L Radney Elementary School, First Place, Group Digital Art.
Lacie Atkins, Juliana Castillo and Faith Watkins-Cook of William L Radney Elementary School, second place, Group Digital Art.
Da’Rique Smith, Graham Lee and Cooper Vickers of William L. Radney Elementary School, first place, Group Digital Game.
Bently Moore, Aydhen Sears and LaBrian Winston of William L. Radney Elementary School, second place, Group Digital Game.
Jaedin Varner of William L. Radney Elementary School, first place, individual hardware modification.
Riley Carlton, Justin Hill and Jamarion Hill of William L. Radney Elementary School, first place, group video production.
Ziyana Cooks, Jameia Marbury and Kylah Pearson of William L. Radney Elementary School, second place, group video production.
Alexander City Middle School’s Guerry Leonard, first place, individual digital play.
Alexander City Middle School’s Lynley Forbus, first place, Individual Multimedia.
Dylan Hyland of Alexander City Middle School, second place, Individual Multimedia.
Jennifer Lee and Jasmin Martinez of Benjamin Russell High School, first place, Group Robotics.
Samantha Medina-Salinas of Benjamin Russell High School, First Place, Individual Digital Art.
Wanner Solaras Oajaca and Thomas Lashley of Benjamin Russell High School, first place, group facilitation.
Theodore Hermann of Benjamin Russell High School, First Place, Individual Animation.
Fatima Buenafe Salares of Benjamin Russell High School, second place, individual facilitation.