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tech wars

March 20, 2019 - 12:48pm

Above: Byron-Bergen STEAM Jam team with STEAM Lab teacher Craig Schroth. Photo credit: Diane Taylor.

Submitted photos and press release:

On Thursday, March 14, 11 Byron-Bergen fifth-grade students and seven senior high school students in grades 9 through 11 joined hundreds of others from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties at Genesee Community College for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering And Math) Jam and Tech Wars.

Tech Wars, now in its 12th year, annually invites students to compete in activities to challenge their innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness.

Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Technology teacher Jay Wolcott, who has a background in commercial manufacturing, was one of the originators of the competition and annually judges the SUMO bots event.

Other events include CO2 car races, architectural CAD (computer-assisted design), logo design, and the regatta -- during which students ride full-size cardboard boats across the GCC pool.

“Tech Wars encourages students to think outside the box while still maintaining the required parameters,” says Wolcott. “We want something different, cutting edge, but it takes real innovation to solve a challenge in a new way while staying within the limits of size, weight, materials or time.”

The Tech Wars participants vie mostly for trophies and bragging rights but, because of the generous sponsorship from regional businesses, two students also receive scholarships.

“Maybe a student isn’t an athlete,” adds Wolcott, “but at Tech Wars they can compete, use their skills, and be part of a team.”

First-year senior high cchool Technology teacher Meshari Alnouri attended his first Tech Wars this year. Although mostly there to observe and become familiar with the events, his students participated in the High School Mystery Event.

"The Mystery Event was a great experience for my students," says Alnouri. "Between participating and watching therest of the competitions, they’re excited to prepare for next year. I’m excited to help them hone their skills andexpand their vision of what’s possible."

STEAM Jam is a new event with 90 elementary school student participants from eight districts. It is the collaborative project of the regional STEAM teachers’ cohort. Byron-Bergen STEAM Lab teacher Craig Schroth was one of the driving forces behind this year’s event.

“STEAM Jam is a celebration,” says Schroth. “We designed three tasks for the students to complete which encouragethem to get excited about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

"It is also a great opportunity for the elementary school students to see the older kids at Tech Wars. We hope that they will carry their enthusiasm withthem to junior and senior high school.”

Fifth-grader Gianna Graff said "I had so much fun at STEAM Jam! One of my favorite parts was being able to seethe older kids compete in Robot Soccer. Now, I am so excited for Tech Wars when I get older."

The STEAM Jam challenges asked students to use design to create a swag item incorporating their school logo and anLED light, construct a tower out of cardboard boxes capable of supporting a toy basketball hoop and surviving a “slam dunk,” and code a robot to launch a ball through a hoop from various positions.

“It was a place where I could use my creativity, engineering skills, and artistic abilities,” said fifth-grade participant Simone Scharvogel. “I can't wait to go back!"

Below: Jay Wolcott and Meshari Alnouri. Photo credit: Gretchen Spittler.

Below: Byron-Bergen STEAM Jam team completing their basketball tower. Photo credit: Diane Taylor.

March 15, 2019 - 12:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in tech wars, GCC, schools, education.

 

Video Sponsor

 

Students from throughout the region competed Thursday at Genesee Community College in the 12th Annual Tech Wars, which gives them a chance to test out their ideas and designs in engineering and technology-related contests against students from other schools.

February 28, 2019 - 3:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, education, tech wars, STEAM, news.

File photo from Tech Wars at GCC in 2012.

Press release:

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].

March 17, 2016 - 5:28pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in GCC, tech wars, news, steve ognibene's blog.

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The ninth annual GLOW Region (Genesee Livingston Orleans Wyoming counties) Tech Wars Competition was held today at Genesee Community College. Eighteen school districts participated in this year's four-hour event that incorporated technology, skills and competitiveness.

Hundreds of students from both middle and high schools competed in 20 different events. Pictured above is the CO2 cars lined up to be checked in.  

Top three schools that won the overall most awards: Alexander Central School, First Place; Dansville, Second Place; and Warsaw, Third Place.

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March 12, 2016 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, tech wars, news.

Press release:

When the Tech Wars come to Genesee Community College next week, more than 600 students from 18 regional middle and high schools will literally "commandeer" the campus. From the Regatta held in the swimming pool to the SUMO Bots, Catapults and Bridge Designs in the Forum; the Robotic Tractor Pull in the gym; the Rube Goldberg competition in the Cafeteria; and the Sculpture event in the Student Union-GCC loves hosting the Tech Wars!

The event so dominates the College's Batavia Campus that it must be scheduled during GCC's academic Spring Break to allow Tech Wars ample space for the all the hands-on learning competitions that are both fun and fascinating.

The exciting Tech Wars is happening Thursday, March 17, and is hosted by the College's ACE (Accelerated College Enrollment) Program for students in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) region. This will be the ninth year that 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 on GCC's Batavia Campus at 8:30 a.m., with the competitions scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony luncheon from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

Students participate in a variety of challenges, generally in groups of two or more. Some of the competitions involve bringing projects they've been working on to campus. New this year is VEX Robotics Company providing a demonstration in tandem VRC Tournament (www.RobotEvents.com), a global competition involving students from colleges and universities around the world, which future students may want to participate in.

"Each year, organizers try to introduce new technology and new problem solving challenges, and this year is no different," Debbie Dunlevy, GCC Career Pathways director, said. "We are definitely covering some new ground by giving students the broadest perspective for their interests and efforts. Tech Wars help students understand what it takes to collaborate successfully and also sheds light on the types of careers paths they might pursue in the not too distant future."

With 30 different events, students will be challenged in an array of technologies. The 2016 Middle School events include: Bridge Design, Catapult Design, CO2 Car and Truck Race, the walk-in Design Challenge, Tech Wars Logo Design, Mousetrap Car, Mystery Project, Rube Goldberg and Sculpture Event designing an amusement ride. The 2016 High School events Bridge Design, Architectural Design in CAD, CO2 Car and Truck Challenge, DDP Manual Drafting, King of the Hill, Logo, Mystery Project, On Site CAD Project, Regatta, Reverse Engineered CAD Drawing, Robotic Tractor Pull, Sculpture Event, 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, go to http://www.techwarsgcc.org/.

The event would not be possible without significant sponsorships. At the $500 (or more) level are Amada Machine Tools America, Inc., Graham Corporation, Liberty Pumps and Northeast Technologies, Inc. Other sponsors include DWB Enterprises, Inc., Lee Schuknecht & Sons, and the Varysburg Lions Club.

"The support of these businesses is essential to creating a successful event for all participants," Dunlevy said. "We thank them for their investment, and for supporting what could be their future employees."

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 Debbie Dunlevy, Genesee Community College Career Pathways program director at 585-343-0055, ext. 6316 or [email protected].

March 12, 2015 - 1:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, tech wars.

GCC is hosting the annual Tech Wars, an engineering competition for students from schools throughout the GLOW region.

May 21, 2014 - 8:24am
posted by Steve Ognibene in middle school, High School, City Schools, tech wars.

Students from throughout the GLOW region gathered at Genesee Community College yesterday for the annual Tech Wars, where students compete in matches of design and engineering skill.

“This is the seventh year since the inception of the Tech Wars that started in 2008 with only 138 kids,” said Bob Hollwedel, an event coordinator.

This year, there were 17 schools and more than 650 middle and high school school student who participated. 

The top schools overall were: 1st Place -- Alexander; 2nd Place -- Dansville; 3rd Place -- Oakfield. Photos below from a couple of the 17 events today.

Co2 Cars

Catapult - Batavia Middle School Team

Robot Tractor Pull

Trebechet - Alexander High School team

Sumo Robots - submitted by high school students

May 19, 2014 - 12:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, tech wars.

Press release:

An exciting, hands-on learning opportunity returns to Genesee Community College on Tuesday, May 20, as the College's ACE Programs hosts the 7th annual Tech Wars 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 they'll demonstrate their technology knowledge through innovative, mind-expanding competition. Students arrive on campus at 8:30 a.m. The competition runs from 9:30-12:30. The event is open to the public. Tech Wars had originally been scheduled for March 13 but was cancelled due to a snowstorm.

Students participate in a variety of challenges, generally in groups of two or more. Some of the competition involves bringing to campus projects they've been working on. This year students have been challenged to create a power-producing sculpture that utilizes renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal or hydroelectric. The sculpture is meant to be a functional piece of art, both utilitarian and aesthetically appealing.

Other competition involves working onsite, such as drawing with CAD (Computer Assisted Drafting) software. From a robotic tractor pull to CO2 truck designs and the ever popular sumo robots, Tech Wars offers fun and challenging events.

"Tech Wars gives students a chance to really exercise creative problem solving skills," said GCC Career Pathways Director Debbie Dunlevy. "Working in groups also helps them understand what it takes to collaborate successfully. And these challenges give them insight into what types of jobs they might pursue in the future."

Last year 450 students from 16 schools participated in Tech Wars.

Batavia's Graham Corporation and Liberty Pumps of Bergen return as Gold Level ($500+) sponsors this year along with Northeast Industrial Technologies, of Lima. Other sponsors include Ken Barrett Chevrolet Cadillac, Allen-Bailey Tag & Label, Lapp Insulators. OXBO, American Douglas Metals and Milherst Construction.

"The support of these businesses is essential to putting on this event," Dunlevy said. "We thank them for investing in what could be future employees."

The Career Pathways Program 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.

March 14, 2013 - 1:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, tech wars.

Students from throughout the GLOW region gathered at Genesee Community College this morning for the annual Tech Wars, where students compete in matches of design and engineering skill.

March 15, 2012 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, tech wars.

Technology students from throughout the GLOW region gathered at GCC today for the fifth annual Tech Wars.

The event pits teams from high schools and middle schools against each other in contests of engineering and design, including bridge building, Lego robots, CAD design and web page design, among more than a dozen other contests.

The competition's first year was 2008 and it has grown every year since its inception.

March 13, 2012 - 2:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, GCC, tech wars.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is pleased to once again offer an exciting hands-on opportunity for area middle- and high-school students to apply what they know about technology and learn even more. The fifth annual Tech Wars competition will take place this Thursday, March 15 at the Batavia campus.

The competition is open to middle- and high-school students, who will participate in multiple project-based events of skill, chance and ability. Events will include CO2 dragster design; AutoCAD technical drawing and architectural design; logo design; manual drafting; sculpture; web page design; bridge design; catapult; mousetrap cars; robot tractor pull; Rube Goldberg demonstration; king of the hill and the ever-popular sumo robots.

Teams of students aged 9 through 14 will also compete in the NXT/RCX robotic marshmallow catapult launch to try to propel their marshmallows the farthest from various points.

"The interest in this competition continues to grow each year because it's fun, but it also illustrates the how the broad range of careers in technology young people can explore," said Debbie Dunlevy, GCC tech prep program director and co-chair of the Tech Wars competition. "The Tech Wars encourage kids to think beyond the classroom, engage their creativity and strengthen their team-building and problem-solving skills to embrace technology as a fun, yet rewarding, way to make a living."

College Tech Prep helps students explore various career options and make a smooth transition from high school to college and ultimately to professional careers. The 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 Debbie Dunlevy, Genesee Community College tech prep program director at 343-0055, ext. 6316, or [email protected] or visit the Tech Wars website at http://www.techwarsgcc.org.

February 27, 2012 - 10:04am
posted by Daniel Crofts in Announcements, GCC, schools, lego league, robotics, tech wars.

The following is a press release from Chantal Zambito:

Calling all NXT/RCX Robotic Clubs, Groups, Teams, and Enthusiasts!

If you are between the ages of nine and 14, you are invited to Genesee Community College, in Batavia, to participate in a friendly maze race. Whether you are a novice or an experienced user of the NXT/RCX Robotic software, this is for you.

The event will take place on Thursday, March 15, in conjunction with Tech Wars. Registration will begin at 9 a.m., with the events lasting from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

The teams will create a catapult to a launch marshmallows from a designated point. The three teams with the furthest launch will receive a prize, and all teams will receive a certificate of participation. The best distance will be taken from each group’s three launches.

Come and look at the 2011 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Challenge Missions, projects, and presentations from local teams. Information on how to get a Robotics Club started at your school or in your community will be available at the event.

If you are interested, the registration deadline is Feb. 18.

For a map of the launch pad, registration form, or more information about the NXT Challenge at GCC, contact Chantal Zambito at [email protected]. For more information about Tech Wars go to http://www.techwarsgcc.org.

March 19, 2011 - 5:52pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in GCC, elba, alexander, byron-bergen, lego league, tech wars.

Howard and I both had a chance to stop over at Genesee Community College for Tech Wars 2011 on Thursday. Howard took some photos, I took some video.

Many thanks to the NXT Lego team members and their coaches for sharing their work with The Batavian.

Here is the video (with a scenic view of the space behind the college to close it out):

For previous coverage, see:

Float in Elba Onion Festival parade gives a 'FIRST' look at LEGO League

Elba students build robots one Lego at a time  

Elba's FIRST Lego League invites robot fans to a maze race at GCC

Photos by Howard Owens

February 7, 2011 - 8:36pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in Announcements, GCC, lego league, tech wars.

The following is a press release from Chantal Zambito, a resident of Elba and co-coach of Elba's FIRST Lego League (see Aug. 5 article):

Calling all NXT/RCX Robotic Clubs, Groups, Teams, and Enthusiasts!

If you are between the ages of 9 and 14, you are invited to come to Genesee Community College in Batavia to participate in a friendly maze race. Whether you are a novice or an experienced user of the NXT/RCX Robotic software, this is for you.

The event will take place on Thursday, March 17, 2011 in conjunction with Tech Wars. Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. with the events from 9:30 – 12:30.

You may decide which level you would like to compete at, novice or advanced. The three teams with the fastest times making it in and out of a maze will receive a ribbon and certificate. The best time will be taken from the group’s three trips through the maze.

Novice groups will know the route of the maze prior to the competition. The advanced teams will navigate a route chosen at random. All routes will be on an 8’ X 4’ table.

A free style, noncompetitive exhibition will also be available for teams who would like to show off a creative robot.

Information on how to get a Robotics Club started at your school or in your community will be available at the event as well. Come and look at the 2010 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Challenge Missions, projects and presentations from local teams.

For a map of the maze, registration form, or more information about the NXT Challenge at GCC contact Chantal Zambito at [email protected]. For more information about Tech Wars go to www.techwarsgcc.org.

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