Student technology group gears up for competitions
Michael Ogilvy of Educational STEM Solutions in Manchester talks robotics with Eduard LaBonte, 12, during the Technology Student Association competition at Camp Carpenter in Manchester. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
The state president of the New Hampshire Technology Student Association, Aamuktha Porika, said: "Technology can be incorporated anywhere."
New Hampshire has 50 chapters, evenly split between middle and high school levels, although there are some participants as far down as fifth grade.
Porika said the local and state competitions include events covering a wide range of technical careers, and members compete in such diverse events as animatronics and fashion design, agriculture and electronic gaming, architectural renovation and music production.
Ervin Connary, who is the state adviser and chapter adviser for Whitefield and Lancaster, has been involved for about 25 years.
Connary said: "You hear technology and people think computer events. But there aren't that many computer events." He said a pencil qualifies as technology. With that pencil, he said: "You are taking knowledge and using it to make your life easier,"
Emily McCusker, an eighth-grader from Dalton, needs no convincing. "It's the jobs of the future," she said. "The future is technology."
Teams of four were divided in half, put in two rooms with the same set of Legos. One half of the team built an object and had to text directions to the other team to build the same object. "We were the second of 55 teams," she said, with only two pieces not put in the correct spot.
Connary said technology is so much a part of life now, especially with the STEM focus, that he thinks association chapters would draw interest in the elementary grades.
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