File photo from Tech Wars at GCC in 2012.
Anyone interested in watching teams of teens and young adults embrace, engage and enjoy all facets of new and existing technology should come to Genesee Community College Batavia Campus for the 12th Annual Tech Wars on Thursday, March 14.
More than 750 students from 24 regional school districts will be competing in 30 different events and hands-on activities that use technology of all kinds.
New to Tech Wars this year is STEAM Jam @ Tech Wars! (STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). STEAM Jam is a way for students in third through fifth grades around the GLOW region to be exposed to the opportunity of Tech Wars once they reach middle school.
STEAM Jam students will have their own competition including activities with building/engineering, circuit and robotic/coding challenges. Part of their day will be to tour and observe the multiple venues and competitions of Tech Wars, and plan for future participation when they enter middle and high school.
The main Tech Wars event matches area middle and high school students against each other in many competitions including the Robotic Tractor Pull, Catapults and SUMO Bots in the gymnasium, the Regatta in the Aquatics Center, and Bridge Designing in the central Forum.
Also a favored feature is Battlebot Soccer where high school students design and build a remote control robot to compete in a soccer match.
Tech Wars is hosted by the College's ACE (Accelerated College Enrollment) Program for students in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) region.
The event brings area middle and high school students to GCC's Batavia Campus where teams of students work collaboratively to demonstrate their technical expertise through innovative, mind-expanding competitions.
The students arrive at GCC at 8:30 a.m. with the competitions scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 12:30.
Students participate in a variety of challenges, many in groups of two or more. Some competitions involve bringing projects they've been working on to GCC, while others provide a more spontaneous opportunity or "mystery" event where materials and directions are shared that day.
The winning Tech Wars 2019 logo, designed by Dylan Duffy from Dansville High School is a great example of the creativity and hard work that happens well in advance of the overall program.
"Tech Wars is a great opportunity for students and instructors to work together toward a common goal," Ann Valento, GCC Career Pathways program specialist said. "It fosters an atmosphere of encouragement and teamwork and the hard-work of each participant is acknowledged and appreciated. It is simply a fun way for students to realize and tap into their talents!"
In addition to the Battlebot Soccer competition listed above, there are 29 other events to challenge students in an array of technologies. The 2019 Middle School events include: Catapult, CO2 Car Challenges, Logo Design, Mystery Project, Paper Airplane, Rube Goldberg, Sculpture and Tower.
The 2019 High School events include: Battlebot Soccer, Bridge Design, Architectural Design in CAD, CO2 Car Challenges, King of the Hill, Logo Design, Mystery Project, On Site CAD Project, Regatta, Reverse Engineered CAD Drawing, Robotic Tractor Pull Limited and Unlimited, Sculpture Event, Skimmer Car, SUMO Bots and Trebuchet which must launch a projectile at a given target 40 feet away.
For the rules and details on all these competitions, click here.
Tech Wars is supported by significant sponsorships. The Gold Sponsors this year include: Liberty Pumps, Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning, Northeast Industrial Tech Inc., Graham Corporation and Amada Tool America Inc.
"Without the generosity of our sponsors and volunteers, the dedication of our area technology teachers and the commitment of our participating students, this event would not be possible," Valento said. "We are grateful for all."
The ACE Program's Career Pathways helps students explore career options and make a smooth transition from high school to college and ultimately to professional careers. Tech Wars is among several dynamic programs giving students the opportunity to learn hands-on, often in business settings and with industry professionals.
For more information, please contact Ann Valento, Genesee Community College Career Pathways program specialist at 585-343-0055, ext. 6316, or [email protected].