Showing Off Innovation
Collaboration Makes Things Happen.
CHS and LDHS Partner Host 2nd Annual Engineering Showcase
Twenty-one local high school seniors competed last Tuesday in the 2nd Annual Laurens County Engineering Design and Development Innovation Challenge, held at the Laurens County Higher Education Center.
Students enrolled in the PLTW Engineering Design and Development capstone course at their high school were challenged to work as a part of a team to develop a solution to a technical, real-world problem that had significance in their lives. Teams were required to use what they had already learned in the previous PLTW Engineering courses to guide them through the process of design and product development.
Under the direction and leadership of PLTW Engineering instructors John Michael Hammond (CHS) and Rob Sheffield (LDHS), students researched, designed, tested and constructed prototypes to present before a panel of engineering, business and education professionals.
Clinton High School Teams and participants included: The Sweeper: Cris Hernandez and Victoria Parenti; Swing Ring: Seth Cooper and Cameron Nichols; 2GH: Matthew Gann, Jay Grant and Titus Hood; Overheating PS4: Gavin Kiley and Exodus Jones; and Hinge Heel: Calleigh Jacks, Lexi LaGroon and Anna Claire Pitts. Laurens High School Teams included: Innovated Lifters: Dylan Drake, Abigail Garrison and Andrew Shelton; F.I.R.E.: Wil Armstrong, Camden Carmen and Marigordon Varner; and Grease Lightning: Austin Bercume, Cameron Estes and Ty Young.
Judges observed each 30-minute session and provided feedback and ratings based on a specific set of PLTW criteria including: Problem Statement/Justification; Current and past solutions / Alternatives; Prototype Design, Construction and Testing; Student depth of knowledge; and Presentation Skills and Content.. The top scoring team was awarded the coveted Laurens County EDD Innovation Award.
Support from each school district and the business community, along with the Carolina Alliance for Technology (C.A.T.) program, has been instrumental in the success of the PLTW Engineering program and senior capstone with both schools.
“We are so thankful for our volunteer judges and the companies that they represent. We hope to continue to build our network of business, industry and community members interested in supporting our students in future events,” stated Elizabeth Craven, CDF at Clinton High School and volunteer coordinator for the event.
Industry and education professionals served as the Panel of Judges.
Knowing that they were going to have to present in front of panel of professionals, as well as compete against their country rival, really motivated these seniors to stay focused this spring, both Hammond and Sheffield agreed.
Collaboration was also important for the adults involved in organizing this county-wide event. Hammond (CHS) and Sheffield (LDHS) worked with Catherine Smith (CAT Counselor) and Elizabeth Craven (Career Development Facilitator) months in advance to create a senior capstone event that most students won’t experience until they are in college.
“I wish we had had this when I was in high school. This type of project and the required presentation skills will really help them when they get to college and beyond,” stated judge Cameron Truelock, an engineer with Lonza.
And the winner is...
After a full afternoon of presentations, guests were invited to join the students and instructors for a showcase reception and awards ceremony. The judges scores were tabulated down to the tenth of a point, but the final count revealed the winner.
● 2019 LC EDD Innovation Challenge Winner:
Hinge Heel: Calleigh Jacks, Lexi LaGroon, Anna Claire Pitts (CHS).
For more information, contact: John Michael Hammond - Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Engineering Teacher, Clinton High School Rob Sheffield - Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Engineering Teacher, Laurens District HS Catherine Smith - Carolina Alliance for Technology (CAT) Counselor, CHS Elizabeth Craven - Career Development Facilitator, CHS Dr. Laura Koskela - Carolina Alliance for Technology (CAT) Program Director
About PLTW Project Lead The Way: (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning.
About CAT - Carolina Alliance for Technology
What is CAT -- CAT is an acronym which stands for Carolina Alliance for Technology. Clinton High School and Laurens District High School are two of the four schools in South Carolina that were awarded the Youth Career Connect Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The purpose of the grant is to give students hands on training and to ensure they develop problem solving skills, to encourage creativity and collaboration, and to connect student learning to the real world. The CAT program was instrumental in bringing PLTW Engineering to Clinton High School and provides support for both the Clinton and Laurens High School PLTW Engineering programs.