County’s STLP teams advance to state competition

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   When people need help navigating the Internet, taking photos with a digital camera, or operating a DVD player, they usually ask the resident expert—who often isn’t old enough to own a drivers’ license.

In Carroll County Schools, nine teams of those experts will be applying their technological skills to compete against their peers in the statewide Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) competition May 13 in Lexington after their strong performances at the regional showcase at Northern Kentucky University on Nov. 19. Teams needed a 100 out of a possible 120 to advance to state competition.

Kathryn Winn Primary, whose team won the state competition in 2007, created a video in which they interviewed adults and students who participate in the new Carroll County Big Brothers and Big Sisters program, with the purpose of encouraging more adults to volunteer as mentors.  The group plans to distribute the video online and also show it to different civic groups in the community.  The project scored 108 out of a possible 120 points to advance. The Winn team, sponsored by Library Media Specialist Leah Spencer and Technology Teacher Lynn Stucker, includes Kennedy Daigle, Grace Long, Deaton Oak, and Sarah Richter..

“The students did all the work; they videoed and conducted the interviews; then they edited the project with iMovie, said Spencer.  “We also practiced presentation skills, such as speaking clearly, standing straight, and looking the judges in the eye.  That all goes into the score.”

District Technology Director Cindy Johann said that there were several showcase projects from elementary through high school at the regional competition.

Five out of six teams from Carroll County High School qualified for state.  Senior Derek Williams qualified for state in two different areas.  As one of twelve student engineers selected throughout the commonwealth, Williams will help set up networking cables and trouble shoot technical problems that STLP members may have at the state competition.  He will serve in a similar capacity at the Kentucky Society for Technical Education (KYSTE) conference in March and the International Society for Technical Education (ISTE) conference in Philadelphia on June 26-29. With a score of 107 out of 120, Williams also qualified for state with his solo project in which he created an application for a Droid smart phone that includes study guides and sample quizzes for Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

“I’m still improving the application and plan to release it to the public in the spring,” said Williams.  “I will probably allow free downloads; it will be my Good Samaritan deed to the world.”

The CCHS team of Levi Underwood, Briana Dermon, Thomas Hill, and Axel Nava expanded on a project begun last year that raises awareness about AIDS in Africa and includes the creation and maintenance of a Facebook page.  They scored 110 out of 120.

With a score of 106 out of 120, Andrea Williams, Pooja Patel, and Megan Harris created a Google Earth project called “Seven Wonders in Seven Minutes” in which viewers can take a virtual tour of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Another Google Earth project, “Carrollton, KY in 3D,” was created by the team of Alex Skirvin, Cassandra Southworth, and Daniel Lindsay and scored 100 out of 120.

The final project to qualify, with a score of 103 out of 120, was an audio-visual presentation designed to teach students about the dangers of steroid use by athletes. The team members included Joe Gibbs, Kenny Crawford, Josh McCarty, and Tim Corley.

“I encourage students to put their showcase projects to good use” said Lynn Eaglin, STLP sponsor at Carroll County High School. 

At Carroll County Middle School, with three teams qualifying for state, the students also created projects that provided a community service.  Brenda Cole, 7th grade science teacher and STLP sponsor, said that working on the service projects also helped students become much more proficient with a variety of software programs, including Garage Band and iMovie, in which they edited audio and video files to make movies.

One project, “Dare to Care” was a community service project, in which Mackenzi Hawkins, Kali Hollar, and Lauren Moore did a fundraiser at Wal-Mart to raise money for the food bank and handed out brochures to inform the public about Dare to Care.  Cole said the students called Dare to Care in Louisville to get information specific to Carrollton and that they plan to go to the warehouse and volunteer before state competition in May.

Another community service project benefitted the Carroll County Relay for Life.  Natalie Abbott, Lauren Toombs, and Jaci Harp sold “Ghostie Grams” at lunch at CCMS and set up a booth at the Relay for Life Fall Festival to raise money for cancer research.  Cole said the students had information on the different types of cancer and handed out ribbons they had made.

A final qualifying team from CCMS created an electronic field trip to General Butler State Resort Park.  The team, consisting of Allie Simmons, Elli Yocum, Kacie Dermon, and Arial McBurney, was mentored by CCMS Technology Teacher Christie Jones.  The community service project, said Jones, was created for fellow students, teachers, and community members to bring the beauty of the Butler Park alive digitally.

“The students are doing more than just using technology in creative ways,” said Johann.  “They are using technology as a service to the community.”


Jeff Fremin is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.