The event was held from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Lake Barkley State Resort Park’s convention center on Thursday, May 3. There were 40 students from Trigg County High School and a total of 100 – 150 people in attendance.
Although she was pleased by how it turned out, Ricks said she isn’t yet sure if they’ll hold this contest again next year or go back to holding the Engineering Summit.
There were several teams from Trigg County High School that participated in the patentable idea contest. The winners were Ellen Shipley and Jessica Stewart, who designed and built a prototype for a hands-free, public bathroom door opener.
“This falls right in line with the community project Dream Big in Trigg and the PADD [Pennyrile Area Development District] 2012 Year of Entrepreneurship Initiative,” Ricks, also a member of the Cadiz/Trigg County Economic Development Commission, said at an EDC meeting in March. “It looks to be a fun day, and it’s all about us this year.”
All 19 competitors in the competition were students in the TCHS Engineering Design and Development class. Those students have to come up with a solution to a real-world problem, then design and build a prototype, and they also learn what it takes to file patents for their designs.
In previous years, they’ve put on the Engineering Summit and invited high schoolers from around the region. Ricks said the Engineering Summit is great, but this year they’re trying something different.
In addition to the patentable idea contest, Amy Carneyhan's fifth grade students from Trigg County Intermediate School, in conjunction with the TCHS engineering program and the University of Kentucky, were in a “Mars Rover” contest, which started at 12:30 p.m. There were four teams, each with five students, and Ricks said everyone loved this contest.
The class worked with high school engineering students to design and build Mars Rover robots, and they have also competed at the regional and state level earlier this year.
Ricks says each fifth grader took 20 days of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) content, which led to Mars Rover prototype. Each prototype will enter an arena to collect “moon rocks” for science experiments, she added.
Only two students at a time were be allowed in the arena, which represents Mars, and the other three on the team will be in a viewing room on Earth, Ricks said.
Thursday's winners – who dubbed themselves Team Angry Birds – included Tony Ogaldez, Y'Laya Bradley, Matthew Turner, Nathan Gray, and John Hall. Those winners each received a new camcorder.