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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • Five years later technology students wow judges

  • A selection of Kiowa County High School students traveled north last weekend to compete at the Fort Hays State University Technology Fair. Five years from their last appearance at the fair, Kiowa County students took home numerous awards and honors for their projects.


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  • A selection of Kiowa County High School students traveled north last weekend to compete at the Fort Hays State University Technology Fair. Five years from their last appearance at the fair, Kiowa County students took home numerous awards and honors for their projects.
    It was 2007 the last time Industrial Technology Teacher Peter Kern took his students to the Technology Fair at Fort Hays State University.
    “I had built it up so much in my head because I knew it was such tough competition,” said Kern. “I didn’t know how we’d do. It was great to go back and then they started to judge our projects. I knew our stuff was good, but I didn’t think it would get the attention it did.”
    Kern and his students won more than a dozen superior ratings, nine medals, two best project awards, a Dennis McKey Award for their multi-pupil project and a Ross Beach Sr. Award for the Most Outstanding Technology Program.
    “They give out the most outstanding program award and BOOM, we got it,” said Kern. “I didn’t expect it.”
    Hannah Brown earned a Best Award in freshman woodworking with her gate-leg drop leaf table beating out more than 20 competitors.
    “We have one just like this at my house, but it’s kind of falling apart,” said Brown. “I decided to take the dimensions from that and make a new table.”
    The new table will replace the old one and she said it might actually get some use. “[the old table] is so old that we don’t even use it anymore.”
    John Colclazier won a Best Award in sophomore woodworking for his armoire/entertainment center.
    “When I’m thinking of a project I think about a couple of different things I want to make,” said Colclazier. “I wanted to make something I could use for a bunch of different things.”
    The stunning armoire has hideaway doors, deep rolling drawers and space for a big television.
    All of the students will take their projects home with them, except for the students who constructed the Dennis McKey Award winning side tables and entertainment center. That furniture has been donated to the new Kiowa County Senior Center.
    KCHS Principal Randy Fulton relayed a message from Fort Hays State Industrial Fair Judge Richard Rome of Hugoton congratulating the Kiowa County students. Rome, who has judged the competition for more than 25 years, remarked, “The workmanship, originality, quality, and display [of the Kiowa County Projects] was excellent.”
    The Industrial Technology Department spent their first year in a brand new building that was completed last summer. Having moved from a smaller building, Kern says that the move is not solely responsible for the success of the students but that the new space has offered a lot of benefits.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We’ve been making nice stuff ever since the tornado,” Kern continued. “It isn’t like we just suddenly started making nice stuff because of the new building, but we were so limited in [the older building]. It took so much longer because we had to move stuff around. Now that we’re in this building we’re able to move easier and all of the work flows easier.”
    The new building is fully equipped with tools and machinery. Students spent the first five weeks of the year building the workbenches and tables in the building, which also earned them a superior rating and a medal. 
    “I feel like it means we’re back,” added Kern. “Not that we were gone, because we’ve been making nice stuff for a while, but to them it was like we were back. It was like ‘ok they’re back, and they’re pretty darn good.’”
     

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