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Students shine at national technology meet
Trip was first for South and West
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Forsyth County News

At a glance

The recent Technology Student Association national competition featured students from South and West Forsyth high schools.


South participants

* Hassan Ali — flight endurance, video game design-ninth place

* Brandon Alva — video game design-ninth place

* McKenzie Callaway — technology bowl, fashion design

* Arun Dunna — open source software development

* Seuhahn Ghu — digital video production

* Andrew Mesa — CAD 2D architecture-ninth place

* Akhila Moturu — career preparation-third place; desktop publishing-fourth place; future technology teacher-eighth place; photographic technology; digital video production

* Norris Nicholson — technology bowl, digital video production

* Amy Su — technology bowl, fashion design

* Sargun Vhora —video game design, ninth place


West participants

* Kevin Culp, Cristian Maldonado and Daniel Cottongim — technology bowl, structural engineering, technology problem solving and VEX robotics


Source: South Forsyth High School

Students from South and West Forsyth high schools found themselves on a global playing field during a recent Technology Student Association national competition.

Nick Crowder, South’s engineering instructor, said there were students from across the United States as well as foreign countries, each bringing their best students to compete in various events.

The events included, among other categories, agriculture and biotechnology, construction renovation, video game design, structural engineering, fashion and flight endurance.

It was the first trip to the national competition for either of the Forsyth schools. While they competed separately, Crowder said South and West cheered each other on.

“When you’ve got a national competition, you’re more of a state delegation than you are individual schools,” he said. “We were happy to work together.”

Their efforts paid off, with many top-10 finishes during the 35thannual event, which was held last week in Orlando, Fla., and featured more than 100 teams.

Though students from Forsyth Central High School qualified for the competition in three areas, head STEM teacher David Johnson said the first-year program wasn’t able to attend.

“It was just a learning year for my new kids and they exceeded my expectations by a long shot ... they won more things than I expected them to,” he said. “We just had no funding to go.”

Johnson anticipates that his students will qualify again next year and plans to have the funding then.

It can be a difficult process, according to Crowder, who used the national competition as a test run for next year’s event in Washington, D.C.

He’s encouraging students who participated to talk with other students about the ins and outs of the events.

“The way I see things, you got to go and experience it and you take the good with the bad and use it as a learning experience,” he said. “They learned something new and stepped out of their comfort zone.

“Next year, I’m really excited.”