John Yeates Middle School Technology Student Association members participated in the regional conference and competition in Middlesex County this month. They came away with a total of 14 trophies and the chance to compete for the state title in Richmond. (Submitted Photo)
John Yeates Middle School Technology Student Association members participated in the regional conference and competition in Middlesex County this month. They came away with a total of 14 trophies and the chance to compete for the state title in Richmond. (Submitted Photo)

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JYMS tech students snag trophies

Published 9:40pm Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Members of John Yeates Middle School’s Technology Student Association will compete in a state-level competition after recently winning various trophies at the regional tourney in Middlesex County this month.

The team of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders left the regional conference and competition at St. Clare Walker Middle School with six first places, four second places and four third places, technology education teacher Alton Christmas said.

They also came away with Best Buy gift cards worth about $185, he added.

“We’re living in a technological world,” Christmas said, explaining the importance of the association’s activities.

Skills involved in the competition, he said, include “critical thinking, problem solving, writing, presentations and just being responsible in following directions.”

Trophy winners were as follows: Indya Gipson, first in Essays on Technology and the Communication Challenge; Chiamaka Nnawulezi, first in Prepared Speech and third in Communication Challenge and Career Prep; Oliver Rice, first in Career Prep; Kevin Johnson, first in Multimedia Production; Daijah Norris, first in Promotional Design and third in Go Green Manufacturing; Rikia Freeman, second in Prepared Speech, Essays on Technology and Career Prep; Karah Foster, second in Digital Photography; Tai Smith, third in Essays on Technology and Go Green Manufacturing; and Tashira Burch, third in Go Green Manufacturing.

Participation in an engineering open house at Old Dominion University in March served as a prerequisite for the regional conference and competition, Christmas said.

“That gets us in the mindset of competing,” he said.

The state conference and competition will take place in Richmond May 3-5, he said.

“Everybody that wins first, second or third will be entitled to go to Orlando, Fla., from June 28 to July 2, for the nationals,” he said.

Christmas reported a steady level of membership in John Yeates’ TSA. Many members participate in the International Baccalaureate program in high school, he said, where they can also continue their involvement in technology student associations.

“A lot of students have gone on to become engineering majors,” Christmas said, adding that one former John Yeates student, Vernell Woods, who received a scholarship for Georgia Tech, is a past president of the Virginia TSA.

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