Technological advances

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Students’ innovation which helps teachers and peers earns them a trip to Texas

By Molly Haines

Thousands of students from 100 districts across the state made their way to Lexington Thursday in hopes their group would be named a top project at the Student Technology Leadership Program State Championship.
But only three groups would be chosen to share their projects in Texas this summer and a group of Maurice Bowling Middle School students is one.
Autumn Maddox, Marlee Lathrem, Molly Gamble, Hailey Chappell and Ellie Stout make up the group, whose STLP project will give them the chance to share their knowledge with others from all over the world.
The group’s project, titled “21st Century Accommodations,” helped students who receive help reading stay in the classroom and not get pulled away from their peers for testing by providing recordings of each question that could be accessed on a mobile device by scanning a quick response or QR code.
“Their project also assisted the teachers because they wouldn’t have to pull kids out during their planning to read the test,” MBMS STLP Coordinator Jenna Gray said.
Gamble said she and the other girls were nervous, but knows their win is a big accomplishment.
“Being from a small community, we were not expecting to be doing big things,” Gamble said. “But we’re very pleased and thrilled to see what Texas is going to be like.”
The STLP State Championship combines content with technology, problem solving and innovation. There were more than 45 competition categories, covering the arts, science technology, engineering and mathematics and marketable career skills.
The students competed in programming, web design, video production, networking, computer repair, video game design and more.
“There were about 600 projects there,” Chappell said. “I really didn’t think we had a very good chance of winning because we came from a small school that doesn’t have a lot of money.”
Chappell said she and Lathrem had a soccer game and were unable to stay for the winning announcements.
“When I got the text saying we had won me and Marlee went running across the field screaming, we were so excited,” Chappell said.
Stout and Maddox both agreed that the project could not have been done without the help and support of parents and teachers, including Owen County School District Chief Information Officer Naomi Cornette and sixth-grade special education teacher Shane Tirey, who gave the girls the idea for the project.
“We’re honored to go to Texas and represent Kentucky for STLP showcase,” Maddox said.
The girls will travel to San Antonio, Texas in June for the International Society for Technology in Education annual conference where they will share their knowledge with teachers and technology leaders who may be interested in doing their project.
MBMS students Brandi Mears, Audrey Hager, Ashley Willis and Destiny Young placed in the top 10 showcase projects with their project, “Scan More Codes to Get in Reading Mode.” Jacob Tamplin, also an MBMS student, won first place for technical writing. Jade Garnett and Jordan Prather were digital art finalists. Hailee Gordon, Marissa Craig, Meagan Bruener, Madison McClain and Hannah Johnson won third place for video game design.
Owen County Primary School student Gwen Wolfe took home first place for digital art.