Students compete at technology event, win multiple awards

Odi Opole, Web Editor

On Thursday, Jan. 13, 17 members of the BV Engineering Club went to Johnson County Community College’s first-annual Competetive Technology Event.

The event hosted students from Johnson, Miami and Douglas County high schools and offered 27 events for competition.

Event coordinator Damon Feuerborn said he had the idea for the event after attending similar ones in the past.

“While I was [teaching] at Olathe, they did a similar event,” he said. “Then while I was at Blue Valley, they did one too. So when I became a professor here [JCCC], I decided it was a good option and a good event to have.”

The JCCC Competitive Technology Event offered a variety of contests.

Events like Dragster Design and Transportation Modeling were centered around cars, while other categories included fashion design and tower-building.

Feuerborn said he used his high school teaching experience to brainstorm events.

“Just by looking at things from my time in high school, and working with other teachers, we went through the possible events and found our 27 to start with,” he said.

He said they also considered demographics when planning categories.

“In the technological fields, females are kind of a minority,” Feuerborn said. “The fashion event was an effort to bring in some more girls. There was a male team too, which I thought was pretty good.”

Of the 17 BV students who attended the event, 12 placed in at least one event.

Blue Valley students placed first, second, third and fifth in the Dragster Design event.

The team of sophomores Nathaniel Dorr and Cordell Frazer placed first in the Structural Analysis event, in which competitors had to build a strong tower.

The freshman team of Eamon Mankle and Michael Thompson won second place in the Problem Solving Challenge.

While all events were judged using a 100-point rubric, different events were analyzed using different criteria.

Judging a competitor for a presentation-based event such as Music Production was focused more on subjective criteria, while events like Dragster Design were all about the numbers.

For example, in the Structural Analysis event, pressure was applied to the top of small wooden towers, and the structures were judged based on how much pressure they could take.

“Whichever [tower] smashes last, wins,” event judge Glen Davis said.

Mankle said the freedom to determine their events contributed to their success as a team.

“Each person got to choose what they wanted to do, unlike most schools,” he said. “For the competitions we were in, we dominated them and got first or second.”