Students from three Thomas County schools put their technological skills to the test and earned numerous medals and a special recognition in a variety of areas at a recent competition.
Forty-five students from Cross Creek Elementary School, Thomas County Middle School and Thomas County Central High School participated in Colquitt County's 10th annual Regional Technology Fair, held Jan. 23 in Moultrie.
Students brought home 15 first place medals, 21 second place medals, and three third place medals (see box).
“All of our students were excellent representatives of the Thomas County School System,” Erin Rehberg, instructional technology coordinator for Thomas County Schools and media specialist at Thomas County Middle School, said. “The hard work of our teachers and the superior quality of our technology programs allowed our students to win many awards at the technology fair.”
TCCHS tenth-grader Irvin Moore won the McClean Engineering Special Award for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math for grades 7-12. His project won first place in Animation; he designed a lip sync animation to the Adele song, “Hello.”
“I was actually shocked that I won because I thought other people ahead of me would,” he said. “I don’t know how, but it fit into the category and the judges loved it. I was happy to do it and enjoyed competing in the technology fair.”
There were more than 350 participants in the fair competing in various technology categories and age divisions. Thomas County students were entered in categories including Technology Literacy, Animation, Digital Photography, Graphic Design, Internet Applications, Multimedia Applications, Nonmultimedia Applications, Video Production, and Audio Production.
Students were tasked with not only creating a technology project but also presenting the project to the judges, including explaining the process and steps taken to reach the end result.
TCCHS junior Haiden Hall, 17, placed first in Multimedia Applications.
“I was really excited,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting to get first place.”
She created a picture documentary about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
“I wrote the script, researched, and found photos that correlated with my script,” Hall said. “I merged everything together to create the video.”
Moore used the program Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu) to create his project. Scratch is a visual programming language in which programmers use logic, motion, sound, and characters called “sprites” to create interactive projects.
Moore’s project featured a stick man sprite, an animated mouth sprite, and a bridge background. He drew each of the mouth's 213 separate looks, called "costumes," and carefully matched the appropriate costume to the audio track.
“Animation is what we’ve been working on in class so I decided to stick with it,” he said. “I worked to keep making improvements and each time the animation improved.”
Rehberg coordinated the system’s technology fair entries. Winning projects were submitted from students in courses taught by Lynnette Fykes (Cross Creek); Ashley Palmer, Emily Holton, and Mandy West (TCMS); and, Randy Young, Kristy Maxwell, Nick Haskin, and Patricia Beach (TCCHS).
“Ms. Beach is incredible,” Moore said of his Introduction to Technology teacher. “I give all credit to her. She’s the one who put me through this and I’m glad I am under her instruction.”
Rehberg adds participation in competitions like the Regional Technology Fair is an important prospect to students.
“Allowing students the opportunities to compete in academic competitions is so very important to their future successes,” she said. “The technology fair allows students to demonstrate their technological skills and complete an interview with judges.”
"Going to the technology fair proved to me that the more I know about technology, the more prepared I am for my future," said sixth-grader Georgia Patton, first place winner in Internet Applications.
TCCHS sophomore Alan Brinn, 15, placed first in Video Production and second in Technology Literacy. He made a promotional video for a technology audio company for the first area; in the other, he took a 50 question test about basic technology.
“Whenever I win or place in competition it’s more of a morale booster and shows me that I can do what I want to do,” Brinn said. “I can go into the film business; I’m really interested in actual film production. If you do well at something, it helps you to move forward.”
Brinn is appreciative of the opportunity to study a specialized area.
“With specialized programs, it helps you realize what you want to do,” he said. “The programs allow you to express yourself more and grow into yourself. It’s helped me personally because for years I never really understood what I wanted to do in life.”
Hall, who wants to major in broadcast journalism, said her recognition is positive encouragement “to keep pursuing this career choice.”
“Personally, it was really encouraging,” she said of the experience. “It’s good to let other people see your work besides just your teachers. Knowing that your work can be put into competition makes you work that much harder.”
All first place medalists will advance to the state competition to be held in Macon on March 5.
“We are very pleased to have 15 students advance to the state level,” Rehberg said.
Students are working to improve their projects/presentations in preparation for state competition.
“I finally made my mark and hope to be able to continue doing animation,” Moore said. “I’m going to try to make my Scratch a little better and continue one step at a time.”
Hall said first place at state receives scholarship money and she would “really love to win.”
“I have time between now and state to edit the video and make it the best it can possibly be,” she said.
Regional Technology Fair Thomas County Winners
First Place Winners:
- Ethan Nicoll, 6th Grade - Technology Literacy - Division 2
- Caitlyn Atkinson, 8th Grade - Technology Literacy - Division 3
- Kyle Clark,10th Grade - Technology Literacy - Division 4
- Irvin Moore, 10th Grade - Animation - Division 4
- Hayes Nelson, 12th Grade - Animation - Division 5
- Courtlen McCullers, 8th Grade - Digital Photography - Division 3
- Jensey Humphries and Aaron Westbrook, 12th Grade - Digital Photography - Division 5
- Paul Edwards and Richard Lewis, 12th Grade - Game Design - Division 5
- Emma Funderburke, 8th Grade - Graphic Design - Division 3
- Georgia Patton, 6th Grade - Internet Applications - Division 2
- Haiden Hall, 11th Grade - Multimedia Applications - Division 5
- Jane Guo, 12th Grade - Nonmultimedia Applications - Division 5
- Alan Brinn, 10th Grade - Video Production - Division 4
Second Place Winners:
- Ethan Mainprize, 4th Grade - Technology Literacy - Division 1
- Matthew Peterson, 6th Grade - Technology Literacy - Division 2
- Alan Brinn, 10th Grade - Technology Literacy - Division 4
- Hayes Nelson, 12th Grade - Technology Literacy - Division 5
- Sydney Smith and Jenaya Tyler, 7th Grade - Animation - Division 3
- Jacob Hancock, 11th Grade - Animation - Division 5
- Ashley Thomas and Skylar Gandy. 12th Grade - Audio Production - Division 5
- Edjenee’ Corbin, 8th Grade - Digital Photography - Division 3
- McClay Caulley, 11th Grade - Game Design - Division 5
- Christin Connelly, 8th Grade - Graphic Design - Division 3
- Kariana Colon, 6th Grade - Graphic Design - Division 2
- Hunter Hudson, 11th Grade - Internet Applications - Division 5
- Kendejah Cummings, 8th Grade - Nonmultimedia Applications - Division 3
- Ethan Nicoll, 6th Grade- Video Production - Division 2
- Parker Harris and Andy Baugh, 8th Grade - Video Production - Division 3
- Kyle Clark, 10th Grade - Video Production - Division 4
- Keri Corbin and Shelby Howard, 12th Grade - Video Production - Division 5
Third Place Winners:
- Cooper Anglea, 12th Grade - Video Production - Division 5
- Alex Ward, 4th Grade - Internet Applications - Division 1
- Meredith Hurst, 8th Grade - Nonmultimedia Applications - Division 3