TCCHS duo headed to state tech competition


Two youth in Thomas County Central High School’s computer science program recently designed their way to a state contest. 

Students Dev Patel and Manthan Patel won first place in Internet Applications at the Georgia Student Technology Competition region-level event held Feb. 1 in Bainbridge.

“I am proud of them, and I want to point out that they did all the work,” TCCHS computer science teacher and Future Business Leaders of America adviser Mark Thompson said. “All I did was provide feedback.”

The duo created their website as one of their FBLA projects. Website Design has been on the FBLA competition docket for a while but mainly focuses on layout. Participants often use site layout software; however, Thompson said Website Coding and Development – the duo’s event – is a new state competition category this year. 

“What is unique about the new category is that the students must learn and display proficiency in writing code to make the site,” Thompson said. “They cannot use site layout software. This is much more difficult but can make unique web pages that cannot be replicated using layout software. This new category will allow computer science students to show off their coding skills.”

The project was eligible for the GaSTC, so the duo entered to gain more experience and feedback on their design. Their entry was a website built for St. James, a local restaurant. 

Eleventh-grader Dev Patel said the FBLA project prompt was to make a website that included a job application for a local business, but they took this idea further. 

“We decided to go beyond the scope of just creating a job application and creating a whole new aesthetic website,” he said. “We believe what stood out on our website was the colorful pictures that we took at the restaurant and the smooth animations that were on the website. Additionally, the judges at the competition were completely blown away by the difference between our website and the current website that they are using.”

Tenth-grader Manthan Patel thinks the website stood out to the judges because it looked like a professional built it. 

“It normally takes me a month to create a website, but I was able to create this one – which is arguably my best one – in just two weeks,” he said. “The website featured consistent and luxury themes. The colors were related to the restaurant, and I also used a lot of simple animations, which made the website look clean and classy.”

Dedication and maturity helped this duo achieve their success.

“Both of them took the competition seriously and really took the time to make a well-designed website,” Thompson said. “As the judges commented, their work is above and beyond what we often see in professional designs. Chandler Hearst from New Hire Solutions reviewed their work and said that the website would be worth a significant amount of money should they decide to sell it.”

Furthermore, both students enjoy computer science and find the TCCHS program a great way to learn various skills.

“I believe that computer science is a powerful skill that can help build your critical thinking,” Dev Patel said. “Computer science is what powers our computers, phones, and the internet. Without computer science, people would be living in a vastly different world.”

Manthan Patel said computer science is like solving puzzles with technology – and it’s continuously evolving.

“Creating this website, so much time of it included me solving a bug for hours, which was worth it in the end,” he said. “It's always changing, which keeps me interested. Creating new things, solving problems, and being part of a community that shares knowledge are the things that excite me the most.”

The Georgia Student Technology Competition state-level event will occur on March 2 in McDonough.

“I am confident that they will perform well,” Thompson said. “Both are well-spoken and modest young men who worked hard.”

These students anticipate the GaSTC and FBLA (also in March) state competitions.

“I hope to see other websites at state level to see what kind of expertise other students have in this area,” Manthan Patel said. “I just plan to work on my script to present the website and be ready for any questions they might have. My goal is to win state and get more experience for FBLA, where I will also be presenting the website for state and, hopefully, nationals.”

They also plan to practice, practice, practice.

“We will practice for a week straight on how we will present,” Dev Patel said. “We will explain our background process and the step-by-step process of how we made the website. Additionally, we will talk about how long it took us to make. Our goal at the competition is to, of course, place first-place. Finally, we hope to also receive possible scholarships for our achievement.”

The duo – no relation – also already have an idea for next year’s competitions: making an app.

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