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June 13, 2013

Students participate in pre-engineering competition

Cooperstown Crier

---- — The New Visions Pre-Engineering students brought home the gold at the SkillsUSA State Competition held in Syracuse.

The competition was held April 24 to 26. Five students from the Northern Catskills Occupational Center and three students from the Otsego Area Occupational Center placed first in their respective competitions in the statewide event. SkillsUSA is an international organization that holds contests for students at technical schools in all fields, ranging from culinary to automotive repair to first aid skills.

The five students at the NCOC (Sean Gauntt, Spencer Hinkley, Hunter Mori, Michael Smith and Caleb Todd) took first place in Quiz Bowl, a general knowledge trivia competition set up almost like a game show. After taking a 75-question test the first night, the team of five students participated in two intense rounds of competition, being asked 100 questions each round, on a broad variety of topics. The students competed against 19 other teams and came out on top.

Two students (Ben Gebl and John Gell) from OAOC won VEX Mobile Robotics, where they had to build and program a robot to not only pick up colored bean bags, but to also place them in color-coded troughs raised 18 inches off the ground for points. They also had to prepare an engineering notebook and a PowerPoint presentation to detail their process of building the robot. A third student from the center (Ethan Drugatz) also won Technical Math, a competition where students had to take an intense math exam that tested their applicable math knowledge for real-world situations. The test lasted for more than two hours, with approximately 50 questions being answered.

All eight students are eligible to represent New York state at the SkillsUSA national competition being held in Kansas City at the end of June.