For many months, the SkillsUSA chapter of Midway High School prepared to showcase their work during a mega competition in Greensboro. And it paid off when they returned to Sampson County with gold, silver and bronze medals.
The group placed in many categories of the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championship, held April 19 through April 21 at the Greensboro Coliseum and Koury Convention Center. Close to 2,000 students career and technical students competed in more than 100 hands-on trade, technical and leadership contests. Some of the areas involved automotive, construction, cosmetology, drafting, public safety and welding.
Lauren Cochran, technology teacher, said it was the first time Midway’s chapter received a top honor in a category. The school placed first in three categories — Engineering, Job Skills Demo and Robotics: Urban Search and Rescue. That achievement was followed by two second place awards, a third place award and one for fifth.
“I was so excited and our students were so happy for each other,” Cochran said. “It was a big surprise and a big accomplishment with all the work.”
While talking about the students’ accolades, she discussed the new Robotics: Urban Search and Rescue competition and the work of team members Dylan Hickok and Haley Heath, who stayed after during the first and second semesters to build the machine.
“That was a new competition this year,” Cochran said. “They have never built a robot and we never competed in robotics. We were able to go there and receive first place.”
The team designed a robot made to go into a simulated neighborhood and pick up simulated bombs. They had 6 minutes to pick up the explosives and dispose of them.
“I feel really great and I feel that I accomplished something,” said Hickok, a freshman.
He learned about SkillsUSA through Cochran and enjoys being a members of the chapter.
“I picked the robotics team and I just went from there,” Hickok said.
Next, Hickok and other first place winners will compete in the National SkillsUSA Championship in Louisville, Ky. with more 6,500 competitors from across the country in more than 100 contests. The chapter will host fundraisers to cover travel cost.
Cochran is looking forward to improving during next year’s state competition with more members in the club.
“There’s so much camaraderie between all of our Skills members,” she said. “Next year, I expect and hope that we have as good of a year or better and have more students involved.”
SkillsUSA is a national organization consisting of students, teachers and industry professionals working towards a goal to make sure the country has a skilled workforce by providing educational opportunities. According to the organization, more than 330,000 students and instructors are involved. Cochran believes it’s important to support technical education and organizations such as SkillsUSA.
“There’s so many venues of technology that incorporated in our world,” Cochran said.
Results from Midway High School’s SkillsUSA chapter included:
• Engineering — Connor Faircloth, Cameron Faircloth, Cole Warren – 1st place
• Job Skill Demo — Brett Stone – 1st place
• Robotics: Urban Search and Rescue — Dylan Hickok and Haley Heath – 1st place
• Opening and Closing Ceremony — Jessie Murphy, Yamila Flores, Tori Mclamb, Dawson Mclamb, Cole Parker, Ricardo Lopez and Jonah Warren – 2nd Place
• American Spirit — Carson Best, Cameron Owens and Jacob Register – 2nd place
• Quiz Bowl — Konnor Brown, John Hodges, Stephen Carroll, Chandler Williford and Jackson Gardner – 3rd place
• T-Shirt Design — Brianna Butler – 5th place