Robotics students win state offices, awardsBy Emily Beckett Published 4:28pm Monday, April 21, 2014
Nearly 40 Chilton County students attended the Technology Student Association (TSA) State Conference at the University of Alabama on April 3 and 4.
Two local high school students were elected to state offices for TSA, and more than 10 students won medals and qualified to represent Chilton County and the state of Alabama at the national competition in Washington, D.C.
“I am so proud of my middle and high school students from Jemison High School who competed against over 600 students all over the state of Alabama, most of which were from magnet, private, baccalaureate and larger districts who have budgets for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics),” said Brooke Elliott, sponsor of the Jemison Middle and High schools robotics team. “Just imagine what our students could do if they had the resources those other schools have.”
Elliott said 23 students competing were from Jemison High School, and the others were from The Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, taught by Jay LeCroy and Jason Sosa at LeCroy Career Technical Center in Clanton.
Jemison High School student Emma Powell campaigned for and won the office of reporter, and Logan Easterling from Chilton County High School was elected secretary.
“They’ll be attending meetings at the state department throughout the year,” Elliott said. “They have to go to the capital twice a year to work with the governor. We were just very proud.”
Students who won awards included: Dylan Levering and Fletcher Brantley, first place in Problem Solving; Aaron Blankenship and Justin Macks, third place in Environmental Focus; Noah Moore and Brian Reid, Video Game Design state finalists (high school); Brady Mathews and Matthew Clark, Video Game Design state finalist (middle school); Brynn Elliott and Jordan Hallmark, Essays on Technology state finalists; Emma Powell, Career Prep state finalist; CJ LeCroy, Trevor Cofer and Nolan Hall, third place in Technology Bowl; Tyler Miller, first place in Video Game Design; and Clay Vinson, first place in Flight Endurance.
Elliott said she was proud of all of the students for their accomplishments in robotics and credited them for making it to the state TSA competition, receiving awards and landing state offices.
“This is all the kids’ doing,” Elliott said. “We do a lot with what we’re given.”
LeCroy said he was pleased with the results of this year’s state competition, which was his students’ second state competition.
“I’ve stopped being surprised when we win,” LeCroy said. “The program has continued to grow each year. If we weren’t able to get students to be successful in the classroom, they would not be successful in the competition.”
Elliott and LeCroy said students are currently trying to raise money and collect donations to cover their expenses to attend the 2014 National TSA Conference, which will be held June 27–July 1 in Washington, D.C.
In addition to travel expenses and hotel accommodations, students must bring professional clothing to wear to the conference each day.
“They have to have a wardrobe for this so they look professional,” LeCroy said. “The students can’t just show up in the clothes they normally wear to school.”
Anyone interested in making a monetary donation to Chilton County robotics students’ National TSA Conference trip fund can contact Jay LeCroy at (205) 280-2920.