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GES students show off tech skills

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By Shaina Stockton, Staff

Galax Elementary School students showed off their computer skills this year for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE), earning many of them spots in this year’s Student Technology Integration Challenge (STIC).

Students from Shannon Wilson’s technology classes were first-, second- and third-place winners, according to a news release.

“My goal is for my students to realize that these programs are useful in everyday life,” Wilson told The Gazette.

Her curriculum allows her students to practice their skills in keyboarding, digital imaging, photography, pie charts, bar graphs and other practical computer skills. Entries for the contest included projects the classes had created during the past year.

Wilson says that classes are instructional, but the children have plenty of fun learning the programs. “Sometimes we will take cameras outside if it’s nice out, sometimes [the students work in groups]… their personalities really came out [in these projects],” she said.

Many of the assignments went hand-in-hand with subjects relevant to their studies, such as a book they were reading or a subject they were learning about. As an example, Wilson pulled up a photo on her computer of a student that had been drawn over to resemble Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat” character.

“We did Seuss characters during Dr. Seuss’s birthday this year… we talked about the characters and their looks, and they picked their favorite characters to transform into,” she said.

The VSTE began the challenge in 2011 to encourage teachers and students to share the products they are creating in the classroom using modern technology. According to the official website, the STIC is open to Virginia students in grades Pre-K through 12, whose teachers are VSTE members.

Competition levels are divided into four categories: Pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Teams are limited to five students. Sponsoring teachers may submit two products per age category. This year’s categories included desktop publishing, multi-media projects, and computer programming/animation.

All judges are members of the VSTE, and members include several VSTE board members, teachers and administrators from across the state, according to the website.

Galax Elementary School winners were:

K-2 Desktop Publishing:

• First Place — Miguel Loera Gonzales, “Lon Po Po Project”

• Second Place (tie) — Edgar Hernandez Moreno, “Dr. Seuss Project” and Jamie Meadows, “Dr. Seuss Project”

• Third Place — Kyle Rupe, “Dr. Seuss Project”

K-2 Multimedia:

• Third Place — Kolton Barnes, Trenton Church, Breanna Collins, Emily Diggs, Ruby Farrow, Kaedence Funk, Clare Huff, Hallie Huff, Jaimee Meadows, Gerardo Mejia Montejano, Camden Ramey, Alejandro Sexton, Angel Soto and Dianna White; “Four Seasons Photo Story Project” 3-5 Desktop Publishing

• Second Place — Seth Robbins’ “Weight on the Planets Project”

• Third Place — Ronnie Horton’s “Santa’s Elf Project”

3-5 Multimedia

• Third-Place - Acuraa Bryson’s “Spanish-speaking Countries Project”

Projects can be viewed at gaggle.net/blog/ges_vste_stic_winners/.