Alexander City Schools students earned top honors on Tuesday, April 19, for their participation in a regional technology fair held earlier this year.
During a board of education meeting, students received certificates and medals for their exceptional inventions during the Alabama Consortium for Technology in Education Region 9 fair.
The Region 9 district encompasses school districts from Tallapoosa, Lee, Chambers, Macon and Russell counties. However, Alexander City Schools is the only school that submitted entries as many schools abstained due to COVID-19 concerns.
Even with a smaller, virtual event, Regional Director Brigitte McCawley noted that ACS students performed well, winning 18 awards.
“Some students who might not be the one that’s going to just jump out into the limelight had a chance to show skills that we might not otherwise see,” McCawley said. “Not all talent is on the football field, so I feel like that is just an alternative opportunity for them to be able to demonstrate those talents.”
Additionally, the fair helps students develop real-world skills that will serve as a strong foundation for potential careers.
“Starting those types of processes at such a young age, just equips them, even further, 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 go into college and out into the workforce,” she said.
McCawley explained that the fair provided an opportunity for students to demonstrate their technology awareness and measure their proficiency in technological and educational applications.
During the competition, students from third to 12th grade showcased their talents in a variety of technological and robotic fields.
Among the categories students competed in included: animation, computer programming, digital art, digital game, graphic design, hardware modification, mobile apps, 3-D modeling, multimedia, robotics and video production.
Many of the students’ projects ranged from robotic machines, digital artwork and video games. Some students even created informational videos on such topics as anti-bullying or suicide prevention using camera equipment and video editing software.
The fair was hosted virtually at Alexander City Schools and organized 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 ACS Board of Education were particularly impressed with the students’ achievement.
“This is the kind of stuff that we signed up for. We love to see that. These resolutions and formalities are part of it, but we just love seeing students and teachers maximizing their talents,” ACS Board of Education president Kevin Speaks said.
Of the ACS 32 students that participated, 29 qualified for the state-level fair. That competition was held on April 8.
Placement results 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 Animation.
Parker Benefield of William L Radney Elementary School, first place, Individual Animation.
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.
Guerry Leonard of Alexander City Middle School, first place, Individual Digital Game.
Lynley Forbus of Alexander City Middle School, 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 Animation.
Theodore Hermann of Benjamin Russell High School, first place, Individual Animation.
Fatima Buenafe Salares of Benjamin Russell High School, second place, Individual Animation.