The Ramstein Officers Club was transformed into a showdown of the best and brightest minds in the district for the third annual European Regional SkillsUSA competition on Feb. 29. More than 130 middle and high school students offered up their Saturday to put their skills to the test in one of twelve challenging Career and Technical Education competitions.
SkillsUSA is the largest Career and Technical Student Organization of its kind, offering quality educational experiences for students in leadership, citizenship, and character development. More than 365,000 students and instructors participate in SkillsUSA annually.
KMC’s Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Chapter 158 has partnered with KMC middle and high schools to develop eleven rigorous, industry-relevant CTE to help raise the level of competency in order to bridge the current workforce skills gap. Aside from overseeing the development of the contests, AFCEA also helped fund the majority of the event, including a collection of incredible prizes for contest winners courtesy of their industry partners.
For 2020, AFCEA once again contracted the UK based Blood-hound Education STEM professionals to host the exciting Model Rocket Car Challenge. In this hands-on event, students engineered special Styrofoam material into aerodynamic race cars able to travel at speeds in excess of 50 mph. Students applied mechanical and physics concepts to build the fastest car possible in this team challenge.
The Bloodhound organization currently has the world record for the fastest land vehicle of 763 mph. STEM educators from the Bloodhound Education division not only hosted the rocket car challenge but provided a full week of STEM aerodynamic training to a number of DoDEA East elementary schools prior to SkillsUSA 2020.
Opportunities to develop, test and refine technical skills is what SkillsUSA is all about. Students who have an interest in a STEM field can fuel their passion through competitive, rigorous and industry-validated challenges. Everyone who participated in this event came away with a greater appreciation and understanding of their particular field of interest, and have something special they can add to their resume, college or job application.
Top winners from the twelve CTE contests:
- Advertising Design – Julia Nilsson
- Computer Programming – Charlotte Roscoe
- Engineering Team Challenge – Audrey Kim and Ethan Kim
- Engineering Design – Emma Moak and Jeremiah Bush
- Information Technology Services – Michael Brenner and Julian Espero
- Nurse Assisting – Isabelle Dudley
- Photojournalism – Suvanna Ponjun
- Television Video Production (Middle School) – Nneka Okorafor and Kemka Okorafor
- Television Video Production (High School) – Matthew Oreskovich, Ramsy Aliandali, and Connor Mackie
- Video Game Design – Ryan Olander
- Web Design – Lucas Petritz
- Rocket Model Car Challenge – Ryan Mitchell and Ty Quinto
For more information about SkillsUSA 2020, to include this year’s winners as well as pictures and videos from the event, please visit the AFCEA Chapter 158 website https://kaiserslautern.afceachapters.org/SkillsUSA_2020.