HHS brings home awards from engineering contests

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Photo by Brandon Hicks For more photos visit www.elizabethton.com

When it comes to the building a solid foundation for the future, the technology students at Hampton High School known how to get the job done; they have the trophies to prove it.
Members of HHS’s Technology Student Association competed in two competitions so far this school year and the students brought home wins at both events.
In October, students participated in the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s Engineers Day competition. Engineers Day has been a UT College of Engineering tradition for more than 100 years. Each year, undergraduate engineering classes are dismissed for one day to allow university students and faculty to spend time interacting with hundreds of potential engineering students from high schools across the region. This year almost 1,500 students from forty-nine different high schools and some home school students participated in the annual event.
Hampton students claimed first and third place out of 146 teams in the Egg Drop Competition, a competition that encourages students to design a device that will protect an egg from breaking when it is dropped.
“What you had to do was make something that would hold an egg without it breaking when dropped from three stories and it had to hit a target too,” said Summer Blevins, one-half of the team that took third place.
Judges also looked at the weight of the device the students built and how many parts were in the construction.
For the competition, Blevins and her partner, Adam Williams, took a piece of styrofoam and hollowed out a shelter for the egg. Once the egg was in place, the two used string to lace the styrofoam together and attach a plastic bag, which acted as a parachute.
Ryan Kelly took a different approach with his device.
“I took some bigger bubble wrap and wrapped it around it and put a rubber band around it,” Kelly said. His entry captured first place at the event.
Following their success at UT Engineers Day, the students went on to compete in the TSA Regional Competition held in November at the Gray National Guard Armory. The Hampton students brought home nine trophies from the event, including 3 first place awards.
Among the winners was Justin Simerly, who brought home first place honors in the Computer Aided Design (CAD) Architecture.
As part of the competition, Simerly and other participants had to design a home using two 20×8 storage containers, similar to those seen on the back of tractor and trailer trucks. The home had to include many details including a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, storage space, shelving, lighting, at least 6 windows or other outdoor light sources, a living area with seating, a rainwater collection system and indoor or outdoor plants.
“It had to be eco-friendly, so I put solar panels on the roof,” Simerly said. “It had to have at least one set of stairs. Since it wasn’t two stories I added a porch with steps.”
The hardest part of the competition was the time constraint, Simerly said. Participants didn’t know going into the contest what they would be designing and only had 90 minutes to complete the project.
“We go in and we don’t know what we are going to be doing or what changes we will have to make,” he said.
Many of the events gave students a limited time to complete a project which they had not been given a chance to prepare for.
In the Technical Problem Solving Event, students had to design a device that would hold 15 pounds of weight five inches off the ground for at least 20 seconds. HHS students Ryan Kelly and D.J. Oliver brought home first place honors in that event.
For the CAD 3D Engineering event, Blevins had 90 minutes to design a device that would help individuals suffering from problems gripping be able to better hold and use utensils to eat. Her work earned second place in the contest.
“All you have to prepare is just learning how to use the program,” Blevins said.
Daniel Arnett, who teaches the CAD program at Hampton High School said he is proud of the students and the work they have done.
“We had several do pretty good in the competition,” he said. “We went up against all the bigger schools.”
Students in the TSA club all take the Computer Aided Design Class, which Arnett said helps them build skills that will be useful to them in their careers.
Below is a list of all the awards captured by the HHS Technology Student Association members at the regional competetion:
• 1st Place in CAD Architecture: Justin Simerly
• 3rd Place in CAD Architecture: Adam Ingram
• 2nd Place in CAD 3D Engineering: Summer Blevins
• 1st Place in Essays on Technology: Hannah Reid
• 1st Place in Technical Problem Solving: Ryan Kelly and DJ Oliver
• 2nd Place in Structural Engineering: Jacob Hill and Maggie Burchett
• 3rd Place in Debating Technological Issues: Jacob Byrd and Nicholas Kennedy
• 3rd Place in Photographic Technology: Brooklyn Ashley
• 3rd Place in Technical Sketching: Kenny Albert.

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