SkillsUSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!
10 days ago
Winfield High School has just entered into an elite class of high schools. Three students; Lexi Wilson, Ashley Jarvis, and Michael Endicott, from the STEM Center for Innovation Engineering program competed at the 53rd Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Championships June 20-22 in Louisville, Kentucky. They were named National Champions in Engineering Technology/Design, the first Kansas team to ever win this title.
The WHS engineering team designed an attachable tactical body retrieval devise that aids police officers, SWAT, Firefighters, EMS and Military personnel to win the competition. The pouch attaches to vests or utility belts making it versatile and adaptable. H.T.U.A.G. (Hook Them Up And Go) has the ability to blend into the uniforms and work with various equipment used by each service branch. Prior to the competition, their product was tested by the Winfield Police Department, SWAT, and Winfield Firefighters. Test results were positive and helped the team to adjust their product to fit multiple equipment needs. Engineering teacher and SkillsUSA Advisor Carey Keller says, “This is the first true Invention that has come out of my engineering program. In the 9 years that we have been competing in SkillsUSA we have always had innovations of products. This is a product that has a true need in the public servant area and has a chance to help save lives of our selfless individuals who risk their lives every day. If we can help save one life then the product will be a success.”
Before the Conference began the students attended a three-day student leader training, ACTIVATE. Students took a look at what it means to present a positive image and the effects that image can have not only on themselves, but also on their school, SkillsUSA, and career and technical education. They also learned how to ignite the leader in themselves and maximize their potential as local chapter leaders. “Activate training is about finding your weaknesses and strengths as a leader and noticing other leaders around you and allowing them to step up and lead the way,” stated Senior Lexi Wilson.
The Championships kicked off with the Opening Ceremonies on Tuesday, June 20th.
More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students – all state contest winners – competed in over 100 different hands-on trade, technical and leadership fields. Students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, crime scene investigation, culinary arts, humanoid robotics demonstration, and many more. Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies that are set by industry. Leadership contestants demonstrated skills including job interview, community service, and prepared speech.
The second day of competition was 8 hours of presenting their product to three sets of two judges and public spectators that were walking the competition floor. Their presentation had to include documentation of their Engineering Design Process via a tri-fold poster, their 3-D CAD Designs, research and supplemental documentation binder, physical demonstration of their product, and evidence of their progress in their Engineering Notebook. Each presentation was 25 minutes and then had a 5-minute question and answer session. This was a time to showcase their 9 months of hard work, product evolution, and product testing and success.
Friday, June 23rd rounded out the National Championships with the Awards Ceremony. Lexi, Ashley, Michael and Carey waited impatiently as the winners of the numerous competitions were announced. Finally Engineering Technology/Design was called. Post-Secondary winners were announced first then High School. Third and Second place came and went without Winfield being called. Hearts started sinking at the thought that they didn’t make the podium. First place was announced and Winfield Kansas became National Champions. This is the first time Winfield Engineering teams have made the podium in the 8 years of traveling to Nationals.
The highest placing before this year was 5th place with a score of 96.7%. This year the team had an overall score of 98.33% and became the first set of students from Kansas to be National Champions in this competition. “Winning first place at Nationals was the last thing I had expected. Kansas has never been on the podium for Engineering Technology/Design so when they called our team I thought it was a mistake, but when I figured out it was not a mistake I felt proud to represent Kansas and Winfield High School,” stated Senior Ashley Jarvis.
Winfield Master Police Officer, Jesse Smith said, “I was extremely proud to learn that three young people from our community, Lexi, Ashley, and Michael, achieved the gold medal at the SkillsUSA National Championships. Through their hard work, perseverance, and engineering expertise they achieved their goal. It was great that a device that will help save the lives of injured first responders was selected as the product developed by our national champions. I can’t imagine the success that they will achieve in their lives. I was pleased to be able to meet their engineering instructor and mentor, Carey Keller, and to know that Winfield High School has such a high-quality teacher.”
The team would like to thank the following sponsors for helping them get to Nationals: Winfield Police Department, Winfield Fraternal Order of Police, Winfield Booster Club, Frank Hughes, HomeTown True Value, Home on the Range, PowderValley Inc., Community National Bank, Mary Dennett, Medical Supply, Burger Station, Ms. Wilson, Mr. & Mrs. Jarvis, The Wet Pet, RCB Bank, The Cutting Edge, Winfield Veterinary Hospital, Pool’s Body Shop, ReJuvv’ Spa, Mr. & Mrs. Endicott, The Shear Point, Daylight Donuts, Roseanne Riley (Expert Seamstress), and Prestige Monogram (Meredith Kowalsky).