Skills displays student talent By CHARLES A. MASON Daily News
Nearly 150 high school students from southcentral Kentucky examined automotive brake systems, built wooden walls, welded steel and talked about lapel pin designs they had prepared for Friday s SkillsUSA Region 5 competition in Bowling Green.
The students were scattered across the city in competitions held on campuses of Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College and at the Warren County Area Technology Center.
The competition itself is a place to showcase their skills and be competitive this is not an A, B, C, D multiple choice test, said Melissa Jones, Region 5 SkillsUSA coordinator. Regional winners have a chance to go on to April s state competition in Louisville.
Savannah Bell, a senior at Barren County High School, chatted quietly with some students on SKYCTC s main campus Friday while she awaited a chance to present her pin drawing.
Students were asked to design a Kentucky SkillsUSA lapel pin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the SkillsUSA national organization. The theme is 50 Years of Champions at Work.
Bell said she drew her pin on a digital tablet. Bell would like to attend Western Kentucky University following graduation and study mechanical engineering. She said SkillsUSA projects help her formulate her future.
It is really leading me to what I am going to be doing in college, Bell said.
With all the recent snow days, Bell did a lot of work on her pin design at home.
Cody Gravil and Lucas Upchurch, both seniors at Warren East High School, were among several students building a wooden wall with two rafters in three hours at the Warren Area Tech Center.
Roy Mellott, a retired carpentry teacher at Franklin-Simpson High School, said the key to the work was accuracy.
Upchurch added that figuring out the angles also were part of the challenge.
Several students down the hall at the Tech Center began a competition in automotive technology. Instructor Michael Emerton said they were to torque tires, hook up a scanner to measure an engine s performance, identify 10 car parts, check the brake fluid in a vehicle and assess fuses without pulling the fuses out of the circuit board.
The SkillsUSA is not the kind of challenge for which a student could cram.
If you know how to do it, you do. If you don t, you don t, said Brittany King, a senior at Warren Central High School. During class they went over the identification of the car parts. King got interested in automotive technology when her father procured a 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and began restoring it.
We dropped a motor in it just a couple of months ago, King said.
Emberton said he makes sure the kids know about the electronic aspects of automotive technology when teaching his course at the tech center.
They have to be trained on all of it, but the electrical is a really big thing these days, he said.
Mike Greer, computerized manufacturing instructor at SKYCTC s Kentucky Transpark campus, said students competing had to operate a milling machine and show proficiency.
After they machine a component, then they have to run the lathe, Greer said.
Nathan Johnson, a quality control inspector for Stupp Bridge Company in Bowling Green, served as a judge for the welding competition held on the main SKYCTC campus.
You look at the quality of the weld and the workmanship, he said.
This year s winners in the Region 5 SkillsUSA Competition were:
Action Skills (AS)
Architectural Board Drafting (ABD)
Architectural Drafting - CAD (AD)
Automated Mfg Technology (MFG) Team
Automotive Service Tech ( AST )
Automotive Service Tech 1 ( AST1 )
Carpentry ( C )
Carpentry 1 ( C1 )
CNC Milling Specialist (CNCM)
Computer Maint. Technology ( CMT )
Construction Tool Identification (CTI)
Customer Service (CUS)
Electric Construction Wiring (ECW)
Electronics Technology (ET)
Extemporaneous Speaking (ES)
Extemporneous Writing ( EW )
Heating, Ventilation, Air Cond. amp; Refrig (HVAC)
Industrial Motor Control (MOTR)
Job Interview (JI)
Job Skills Demo A (JSDA)
Job Skills Demo Open (JSDO)
Masonry I (M1)
Pin Design (PIN)
Precision Machining Tech (PMT)
Promotional Bulletin Board (BB) Team #1 Member 1
Quiz Bowl (Quiz)
Related Technical Math (RTM)
Skills Spelling (SS)
Talent Group (TG)
Technical Board Drafting ( TBD )
Technical Drafting CAD ( TD )
Transportation Tool ID (TTI)
Welding 1 (W1)
Welding Fabrication (WF) Team
The contests are organized by and run through a partnership of industry, labor and education. More than 5,500 students from all states advance and compete in the national event.
SkillsUSA is the official U.S. representative to the WorldSkills Competition. For more information about SkillsUSA, go to http://skillsusa.org/