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Rome, Floyd students showcase tech skills

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Editor’s note: The list of the winners of the tech competitions for each school system will run in Wednesday’s Rome News-Tribune, inside the Young Romans section.

Rome City Schools competition was held at Rome Middle and Floyd County Schools held its competition inside the Krannert Center at Berry College. It was the first year Floyd County Schools held a systemwide tech competition.

Students in third grade through 12th grade presented projects across 14 categories, including digital game design, graphic design, video production and robotics.

Students are broken into five grade bands for the competition. A system-wide winner in each category for each grade band will go on to represent their school system in a competition at Georgia Highlands College for systems in the Northwest Georgia RESA — Regional Educational Service Agency — district.

Each system had over 70 students presenting projects to judges.

Using four aluminum cans she repurposed from the North Heights Elementary cafeteria, fifth-grader Lamaria Studyvent made a directional pad that hooked into her Chromebook to direct her character in Pac-Man. Taking advantage of her Makey Makey, an electronic tool for inventions specifically for making regular objects into touchpads, she ran wires from inside the cans to the device, which linked into the computer through a USB cord.

Studyvent said she made use of her activity time at school to finish the project.  

Shaymaa Jabara, a sixth-grader at West End, showcased her multilingual robot, which she assembled and programmed from a kit. It took her 16 hours to put together in what was a frustrating process, she said. She had little prior experience in coding, but was assisted along the way through a coding program.

Now, Jabara doesn’t speak five languages herself. But like the internet-savvy youth she is, she used Google translate to record lines for him to say in each language.

For Armuchee Middle eighth-grader Weston Edwards’ project, he and a partner documented on video the Floyd County Schools cardboard challenge, where students build structures, games or figures with minimal materials, basically just cardboard and duct tape. Their footage was edited and compiled through the WeVideo platform, with a final result adding up to a documentary-style film, he said.

Brendan Massengale, a Coosa Middle eighth-grader, made sure to wear a shirt bearing a graphic he previously designed when he went before judges. Incorporating his school’s mascot, he used Adobe Photoshop to create a graphic of an eagle in space —  his partner Logan Wright helped with the idea. He used printouts to take judges through each step of the design process, explaining what he accomplished with each one.

Starting a small T-shirt business is something Massengale said he has been contemplating, taking what he now does for enjoyment into the realm of business.