HHS students earn honors at competition

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Hampton High School’s Technology Student Association won top honors at the TSA Regional competition, garnering numerous 1st, 2nd and 3rd place wins. Three of these students also placed highly in a bridge building competition at UT.

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Hampton High School’s Technology Student Association won top honors at the TSA Regional competition, garnering numerous 1st, 2nd and 3rd place wins. Three of these students also placed highly in a bridge building competition at UT.

Students in the architecture and design program at Hampton High School are building and designing their way to success, not just now but in their futures also.
Students in the program have recently brought home some competition wins to the school – including some first and second place honors.
Students recently ranked in first and second place in a Balsa Wood Bridge Competition at the University of Tennessee’s Engineering Day.
Philip Arrington and Austin Boling placed first, closely followed by Caitlin Carrico in second.
Each bridge model is uniquely designed based on principles taught in Daniel Arnett’s architecture and engineering design classes.
The bridges are tested for structural efficiency by applying pressure from a hydraulic press on the center of each bridge.
Though the winners said students from some schools did not test their bridges before coming to the competition, Hampton students said they did test theirs. Not only did they test them, but they built multiple models to insure weight and strength efficiency.
Carrico built seven bridges, with the final model being a box girder model. She said her first took her about a day to design and build, while her last took only an hour and a half.
Arrington and Boling built five models and decided to enter their final triangle design.
“We just went with the flow, trying different things to see what worked,” said Boling.
Arrington said the design process could be frustrating because they would build a sturdy bridge, but then would realize that it weighed too much and would yield an inferior weight to strength ratio in the competition.
“Our first bridge held 60 pounds, but weighed too much,” said Arrington. “Our winning bridge held 53.25 pounds and weighed 25.13 grams.”
Carrico’s said she broke three bridges just by testing them, and that her final product supported 51.86 pounds and weighed 23.4 grams.
After lots of trial and error, duplicating successes and noting failures, the three went home with the glory against 20 competing teams.
In addition to these wins, Hampton students also earned nine individual placements at the Technology Student Association Regionals in Gray. They competed against 151 students from 11 regional schools.
Each competition tested skills in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology.
The students learn the skills in class, practice after school and then compete, and Arnett said they always place highly.
“They’re very dedicated, and their success has set a precedent for students in upcoming years,” said Arnett. “I’m very blessed to have students that want to work hard.”
First place winners include John Cole in Computer-aided Design (CAD) 2D Architecture, Caitlin Carrico in Technical Sketching, and Sarah Walser in Prepared Presentation.
Cole placed in the top 20 in nationals last year out of 50 students and said his design this year exceeded judges expectations by incorporating 3D views and adding furniture to his design. He said that the program that they learn to use in school, Envisioneer, is quick and accurate and allows him to do more with his designs than other competitors. It took him only an hour to meet the guidelines of his assignment, adding a sunroom and floor plan elevations to a house plan, and that he used the additional half hour to improve his design. He said most students didn’t have the time to add furniture, and that his was the only one with 3D views.
Carrico said that she has competed previously in technical sketching and placed 6th in the state. In this competition, she was not allowed to use a ruler and had to draw a dimensionally proportionate top, front and side view layout of a structure based on an image. She said her sketch had darker lines than all the rest and that hers was one of the only ones that was spaced correctly.
Second place winners were Ian Kelly in CAD 2D Architecture and Ellie Campbell in Essays on Technology.
There were four third place winners including Stephanie East in Technical Sketching, Alex Marlow in CAD 3D engineering, Brooklynn Ashley in Photographic Technology, and Arrington and Boling in Structural Engineering.
Because Arrington and Boling’s bridge was such a success at the UT competition, they entered a box girder beam model in the regional competition and placed 3rd.
“One day, they’ll have to compete for jobs, and the competition sets them up to do well in high-pressure situations,” said Arnett. “It’s all about the students and making sure their attitudes and mentalities are where they need to be for them to succeed.”
Many of his students plan to pursue careers in engineering, including all three bridge competition winners. They said that though trial and error and many hours after school, the hard work was well worth it.
“In the end, the hard work paid off,” said Carrico.

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