Four students from Warren County Technical School’s Class of 2016 were awarded gold medals in two separate contests at the annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference recently in Louisville, Kentucky.
General Engineering students Marina Lilleholm, Lukas Purasson and Nicholas Roschewsk won a gold medal in the Engineering Technology/Design category for their design of a product used to help firefighters communicate with one another in the field. Their prototype, named “Oh Wedge It,” is a door and corridor wedge that lights up, blinks and communicates various signals to firefighters within an interior structural fire. The idea behind the device is to minimize time spent during search and rescue and prevent deaths in the line of duty.
Electronics student Zachary Snyder was awarded his own gold medal in Electronics Technology. The contest measured knowledge of “state of the art” electronics industry standards as determined by the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians. It included two written tests: a certified electronics technician exam and a customer service test. Skills tested were circuit construction, soldering and system troubleshooting, and simulated real life conditions that exist in the professional environment.
In order to qualify for the National SkillsUSA Championships, designed for students in career and technical schools, students had to win gold medals in state contests held earlier this year.
The competition in each category was intense. Students were required to make well-organized presentations, have a demonstrated knowledge of their careers and vocations, and document and test prototypes before presentation day.
“Our students, once again, demonstrated excellent depth of skill and knowledge in their chosen fields,” said Lori Miller, Warren Tech SkillsUSA Advisor. “Each represented our school with great pride, enthusiasm, and integrity. They will be missed.”
Warren Tech’s Principal, Geta Vogel, added, “Our students continually push themselves and strive for excellence. Our dedicated teachers and advisors work hard year-round to help students prepare for these contests. We say goodbye to a gifted group of seniors whose talents and compassion will take them to new heights for a better tomorrow.”
Each of Warren Tech’s gold medalists will be entering college in the fall to pursue a degree in engineering. Marina Lilleholm will attend Drexel University for Biomedical Engineering; Lukas Purasson, Virginia Tech for General Engineering; Nicholas Roschewsk, Worcester Polytechnic Institute for Chemical Engineering; and Zachary Snyder, Penn State, for Electrical Engineering.
The SkillsUSA Championships, considered the largest single day of corporate volunteerism in America, has garnered more than $36 million in industry support of donated time, equipment, funding and materials. All contests are run and judged by industry leaders, using trade standards for employment. More than 1,200 industry judges participated this year.
Winners received medallions and were awarded trade tools and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The competition was steep: more than 6,000 students competed in 100 contests in technical, skilled, service and health occupations this year.
Participating in SkillsUSA is just one way that Warren County Technical School prepares students for vocational and technical careers upon graduation while providing a solid academic foundation in preparation for college study. To learn more about Warren Tech, visit www.wctech.org.