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App State Event to Host STEM Students, More than 700 Aspiring Scientists, Engineers

The Career and Technical Education Program, which is housed in the Reich College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Appalachian State University, will host the 2016 Western Region North Carolina Technology Student Association (NCTSA) Conference Feb. 26. The event at Appalachian is the largest regional NCTSA Conference in the state.

More than 700 middle and high school students from nearly 30 regional schools will showcase their work in STEM education and prepare for the upcoming NCTSA state conference in April. Activities will be held in the College of Education Building and Plemmons Student Union.

“These students represent future scientists, marketing executives, game designers, authors, entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, politicians and teachers,” said Dr. Jerianne Taylor, program coordinator for Appalachian’s Bachelor of Science degree in Career and Technical Education.  “The excitement that you see in these middle and high school students is totally contagious.

Activities created at students local schools to be showcased at Appalachian include:

  • Children’s Stories – Middle and high school students will create an illustrated children’s story of artistic, instructional and social value that is related to the STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math).
  • Biotechnology Design – High school students will select a contemporary biotechnology problem that relates to the current year’s published area of focus and demonstrate understanding of it through documented research, the development of a solution, a display, and an effective multimedia presentation.
  • Digital Video Production – High school students will create a video related to stopping social media bullying.
  • Music Production – Students will produce an original musical piece.
  • Video Game Design – Students will develop a game for players ages 10 and up that focuses on the subject of their choice.
  • Webmaster – Student teams will design, build, and launch a website that features their school’s career and technology/engineering program, the Technology Student Association chapter, and the chapter’s ability to research and present a given topic pertaining to technology.

Activities that will be created on site at Appalachian include:

  • Problem Solving – Students working in two-person teams will use problem-solving skills to develop a finite solution to a problem provided on site.
  • Prepared Presentation – Students will deliver an oral presentation that includes a visual component, based on the theme “Building A Legacy.”
  • VEX Robotics – In the robotics competition, Nothing but Net, students build and operate a robot that collects and then tosses balls from varying elevations across a 12-by12-foot board into a net. The competition is designed to cultivate life skills such as planning, brainstorming, collaboration, teamwork and leadership, as well as research and technical skills.

A complete list of event descriptions can be found at http://www.tsaweb.org/High-School-Competitions and http://www.tsaweb.org/Middle-School-Competitions

Participating schools include:

A.C. Reynolds Middle School, Avery Middle School, Ardrey Kell High School, Ashe County High School, Ashe County Middle School, Atkins High School, Avery STEM Technology Student Association, Butler High School, Charlotte Engineering Early College, Cherryville High School, Clyde Erwin Middle School, Cranberry Middle School, East Lincoln High School, East Mecklenburg High School, Enka Middle School, Hanes Magnet Middle School, Highland School of Technology, Independence High School, Kennedy Middle School, Lake Norman Charter School, Mallard Creek High School, Martin L. Nesbitt Discovery Academy, McMichael High School, Meadowview Magnet Middle School, North Buncombe Middle School, Providence High School, Randolph Middle School, Robinson High School, T.C. Roberson High School, Vance Academy of Engineering, Valley Springs Middle School, Walkertown High School, Watauga High School, West Forsyth High School, West Wilkes High School, West Wilkes Middle School, William A. Hough High School and Zebulon B. Vance High School.