Ribbons galore… Hampton students rake in a haul of ribbons during Appalachian Fair

Published 12:01 am Friday, August 30, 2019

Winning competitions is becoming an old habit for the students in Daniel Arnett’s Architecture and Engineering Design class and Bruce Wiltshire’s Automotive class when it comes to the Appalachian Fair.
This year was no different as after the final judging and ribbon ceremony, the students carried a total of 76 ribbons back to the school competing against much larger schools like Dobyns-Bennett, Science Hill, David Crockett, and many others.
In breaking the count down, there was a total of 26 first place ribbons, 24 second-place ribbons, and 26 third-place ribbons earned by the Hampton students.
The results weren’t completed without a lot of work and commitment from the students.
“Most of them came in in early July in the evenings and we spent time putting the projects together and trying to get our drawings printed out,” Arnett said about the process of getting everything ready for competition. “We finalized stapling all the cards to the projects so it was a very lengthy process to do it.
“The week before school we had to take our projects over and they got judged and the first week of school we had to go over and set up a booth. It’s quite a bit of work that we put into it.”
With the winning of a ribbon, the students are also given a check based on where they finished at in the top three of the competition.
Although the competition against other schools is a fun activity for those participating, there are other reasons that doing well at the competition will help in other competitions throughout the year.
“We like to do a lot of other competitions besides the fair and we like to raise money so the students don’t have to pay for those so we try to raise as much money as we can during the fair so we can go to other competitions,” said Hampton student Macon Barden.
“We try to do things that can help earn money but also that goes along with our class as well. We got into the top three at the fair this year and earned $699 dollars. I know that Dobyns-Bennett received a $1000.
“Coming from a small school that means a lot to us to get that much money compared to the bigger schools.”
The competitions vary with some having guidelines while others are projects that have to fit into certain parameters to be included in the judging.
Heather Grindstaff, a junior at Hampton, was able to compete for the first time this year and ended up bringing home blue ribbons in electrical schematic drawings.
“Most of the time I am given guidelines on stuff that I hand draw,” Grindstaff stated. “Computer drawing is completely different. Sometimes you just kind of make that up yourself.
“A lot of times for hand drawings I just look at textbooks and read the definitions and create my own electrical schematic drawings based on the ones that are already in the book.
“This is just fantastic, ” continued Grindstaff. “I am a junior and I started taking Mr. Arnett’s class last year so this was my first Appalachian Fair that I have been able to compete in.
“Hand drawings tend to take a lot of time. One of them takes three to four hours and then you end up redoing it four to five times so when I got them back and all of them was first place, I was very thankful for Mr. Arnett and what a perfectionist he is.”
Both Grindstaff and Barden echoed how important that Mr. Arnett’s class has been not only for them personally but for Hampton High School overall and the fair was just another example of how Arnett’s drive for perfection has rubbed off on his students.
“He has been around a lot,” Barden said. “He has been a mentor to me since the seventh grade and has taken me to places that I have never been before.
“We went to Washington, DC over the summer to the nationals and he showed me what the engineering world really looks like in real type engineering situations. He has given me projects to help me with architectural engineering which is what I want to go into and helped me out.”
Grindstaff followed up Barden’s assessment by saying, “It’s incredible because there are a lot of programs that are here that are fantastic but to get to know that we get to be a part of the specific program where we have an advisor that goes above and beyond consistently is fantastic and I couldn’t ask for better.
“I would never imagine coming into high school that I would be able to be a part of this. It’s incredible.”
Arnett said that his number one goal whether it be competition at the Appalachian Fair or any other competition is to give students the understanding that there is hope if they are willing to dedicate and commit themselves in reaching their dreams.
“We try to instill hope. Just because we come from a small place doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve big things. We just try to give them a little hope and a little promise. That’s what we all want,” stated Arnett.
“A lot of people want to be successful but they don’t want to work to have that success. The guys before these students came in have shown them that if you put in effort good things can happen and I think that is trickling down.
“Maybe somebody will step up to the plate. A lot of my students have gone on to engineering schools and I am super proud of them.”

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