Students from Thomas County Middle School and Thomas County Central High School put their technological skills to the test and earned numerous medals and a special recognition in a variety of areas at a recent competition.
Fifteen students entered fourteen projects in the 3rd annual Southwest Georgia Technology Competition held January 25 in Bainbridge. All Thomas County students were winners at the event and brought home 6 first place medals, 4 second place medals, and 4 third place medals.
“All of our students were excellent representatives of the Thomas County School System,” Erin Rehberg, Digital Learning and Media Services Coordinator for Thomas County Schools said. “The hard work of our teachers and the superior quality of our technology programs allowed our students to win many awards at this competition.”
TCMS eighth grader Ethan Mainprize won first place in the Internet Applications category for grades 6-8. Ethan’s project was a website that he created using Weebly about the News 4 You broadcast created in Ashley Palmer’s technology class each day for student announcements. Ethan is a cast member of the production each week where he currently serves as sound technician, and will move into the role of director within the next few weeks. Ethan’s website introduces the cast members, includes two broadcasts created by two of the three crews, and has a frequently asked questions page along with contact information for Mr. Palmer.
"It made me feel accomplished as an eighth-grader to place first in region competition and make it to the state level three years in a row. This has helped me to realize that I could do website creation for a living and make a career out of something that I love to do," said Ethan.
There were many participants in the fair competing in various technology categories and age divisions. Thomas County students were entered in categories including 3D Modeling, Graphic Design, Internet Applications (Web Page Design), Multimedia Applications, Mobile Apps, Robotics, Digital Game Design, Audio Production, Device Modification, and Animation.
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.
Winning projects were submitted from students in courses taught by Ashley Palmer, Emily Holton, William Hanna, and Tammy Sharpe (TCMS); and Mark Thompson (TCCHS).
Rehberg adds participation in competitions like the Regional Technology Fair is an important growth opportunity for 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.”
Tammy Sharpe, coding and engineering teacher, along with Kathie Craven, media specialist, coordinated the projects from Thomas County Middle School and worked with the students to prepare them for the competition. “Students were confident during competition, having practiced their presentations in advance. Their hard work and determination has paid off,” stated Craven.
All first place medalists will advance to the state competition to be held in Macon on March 14.
“We are very pleased to have six students advance to the state level,” Rehberg said.
Students are working to improve their projects/presentations in preparation for state competition.
Hayden Johnson - Grade 5 - 3D Modeling
Kyle Davis - Grade 5 - Mobile Apps
Donkerious Smith - Grade 5 - Multimedia Applications
Saathvik Ankarapu - Grade 5 - Robotics
Shane Sanford - Grade 8 - Audio Production
Ethan Mainprize - Grade 8 - Internet Applications
Andrew Robertson - Grade 5 - Animation
Ta’Nya White - Grade 5 - Graphic Design
Saramichael Dowdy - Grade 8 - Device Modification
Jackson McCorkle - Grade 9 - Device Modification
James Edgerton - Grade 7 - Digital Game Design
Skylar Lewis & Veronica VanLandingham - Grade 8 - Animation
Alana Musselwhite - Grade 8 - Graphic Design
Corey Williams - Grade 8 - Multimedia Applications