FHSU’s TEECA places in 9 out of 10 events at regional STEM education conference

11/06/17
HAYS, Kan. – The 19 students and two sponsors of Fort Hays State University’s Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association chapter finished with three first-place awards in competitions at the recent International STEM Education Association regional conference in Branson, Mo.

FHSU teams placed first in Problem Solving and Robotics, and Justin Underwood, Eudora senior, won the first-place individual award for Photography Challenge – Manipulated.
Another team member, Danea Buschkoetter, Holdrege, Neb., junior, won the individual second-place award in Photography Challenge – Still.

In both the team events in which FHSU was No. 1, other FHSU teams took the No. 2 awards. In all, out of nine events, FHSU competitors won two team No. 1 team awards, five No. 2 team awards, two third-place awards and an individual first and an individual second.

The competitors in the Southwest region were Fort Hays State University, Pittsburg State University and Arkansas State University.

“Last spring, our TEECA organization graduated over half of the existing team, which was responsible for a vast majority of regional and national titles over the past few years,” said Eric Deneault, assistant professor of applied technology and TEECA sponsor.

“We knew going into this season we would be in a rebuilding year,” he said. “Along with several existing members, we recruited hard and gained many new freshman and sophomore students who will become the future of the TEECA organization.”

Deneault and Randy Jordan, assistant professor of applied technology, sponsored the FHSU team.

Results of the conference are listed by event.

Problem Solving
The problem-solving challenge was to build a mechanism with as many simple machines as possible to move a marble around and knock down as many pins as possible. This was a blind challenge. At the start of the competition, each team was given a packet of materials with limited supplies to begin construction. Representing FHSU team 1 was Tanner Swartz, Alexander senior; Mckenzie Brungardt, Lawrence sophomore; Blake Hinson, Great Bend senior; and Christian Wetter, Concordia senior. FHSU’s team 2 was Brady Hutchison, Hays junior; Devin Thomas, Russell junior; Ryan Deaver, WaKeeney sophomore; and Jared Divis, Great Bend freshman.
Results:
1. Fort Hays State University Team 2
2. Fort Hays State University Team 1
3. Pittsburg State University Team 1

Robotics Challenge
This year’s robotics competition was to design, build and program a robot that could grab and transport different sizes of weighted balls from parts of the playing field into different locations within the field. Each location and ball had a specific point value associated with the challenge.

FHSU competed strongly in this event coming off a national championship last spring. FHSU’s team 1 was Thomas, Hutchison and Alex Tinkel, Hays freshman. Team 2 was Wetter, Tage Rothchild, Superior, Neb., freshman, and Jordan Boone, Great Bend freshman.
Results:
1. Fort Hays State University Team 1
2. Fort Hays State University Team 2
3. Pittsburg State University Team 1

Photography Challenge – Manipulated
Results:
1. Fort Hays State University (Justin Underwood, Eudora senior)
2. Pittsburg State University
3. Pittsburg State University

Photography Challenge ¬¬– Still
Results:
1. Pittsburg State University
2. Fort Hays State University (Danea Buschkoetter, Holdrege, Neb., junior)
3. Pittsburg State University

Live Manufacturing
This year’s live manufacturing competition required students to reverse engineer, manufacture and present a mechanical top to the judges. Each team had to draft the part files as well as the jigs and fixtures utilized in their production. Competitors had four hours from start to finish to develop the most efficient assembly line production run with the highest overall part quality. Representing FHSU on this team was Underwood, Buschkoetter, Trevin Haug, Manhattan freshman, Dalton Enfield, Atwood freshman, Brett Brewer, Limon, Colo., freshman, and Brandon Bartz, Larned freshman.
Results:
1. Pittsburg State University
2. Fort Hays State University

Live Communications
This year’s live communications challenge was to develop a 60-second commercial highlighting the value of STEM in education. FHSU’s team was Buschkoetter, Tinkel, Divis, Brungardt and Boone.
Results:
1. Pittsburg State University
2. Fort Hays State University

Transportation
The transportation challenge was to design, engineer and construct an apparatus to transport items with drone technology through an obstacle course and into a target zone for points based on accuracy. This challenge required spatial recognition and drone operation skills. FHSU team 1 was Underwood and Brewer. Team 2 was Wetter and Haug.
Results:
1. Pittsburg State University Team 1
2. Pittsburg State University Team 2
3. Fort Hays State University Team 1

Teaching Lesson
The teaching lesson competition is a major part of TEECA, providing the opportunity for prospective teachers to advance their teaching skills and test their methods against their peers. This year, the teaching lessons revolved around the topic of “Break Even Analysis” and how it applies to STEM education. FHSU team 1 was Aaron Thieman, Simla, Colo., senior, and Matt Theiman, Simla, Colo., sophomore. Team 2 was Divis and Tinkel.
Results:
1. Pittsburg State University
2. Fort Hays State University Team 1
3. Pittsburg State University

Technology Challenge
The technology challenge is a quiz-bowl style event. Team 1 for FHSU was Swartz, Thomas, Hinson and Hutchison. Team 2 was Deaver, Rothchild and both Thiemans.
Results:
1. Pittsburg State University Team 1
2. Pittsburg State University Team 2
3. Fort Hays State University Team 2

“Even though we find ourselves in a rebuilding year, the expectations remain high, and the level of commitment to succeed has been passed down by our recent graduates,” said Deneault. “I am proud of the way that our young team presented themselves and competed at this year’s regional event.”

“I am looking forward to watching these young men and women grow into successful individuals,” he said. “I am excited and optimistic about the things to come from this group.”

FHSU students will next compete at the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association national conference in Atlanta from April 12 to April 14.

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