Tech Wars

Students went to war by combining classroom science lessons and hands-on activities at Jamestown Community College on Tuesday.

Approximately 350 students from 14 different school districts and 19 schools participated in the Chautauqua Tech Wars & Career Search. The event was held at JCC’s Physical Education Complex, the Hamilton Collegiate Center and the Carnahan Center. The event was co-sponsored by Dream It Do It Western New York, New York State Technology and Engineering Educators’ Association, Jamestown Community College, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier.

The Physical Education Complex was the venue for the tech war events, which were sponsored by the Technology Teachers of Chautauqua County. Students from grades 7-12 from area schools participate in events like egg crash cart, short-track CO2 racing and the autonomous robot challenge.

The Hamilton Collegiate Center was the site for information on the Science Olympiad and the community nonprofit organization showcase. The Carnahan Center was where students went for the local business and career fair that featured vendor demonstrations and on-site team competitions hosted by the Chautauqua Leadership Network.

Brad Vish, Silver Creek seventh-grade teacher, said the variety of different activities available for the students to participate in led to a great event.

”I think it is extraordinary,” he said. ”It is a great learning experience for the kids.”

David Currie, Jamestown Public Schools science, technology and information services coordinator, said the tech war events are a great way to demonstrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics – also referred to as STEM.

”They get to show off the knowledge they have learned throughout their careers in the classroom with hands-on activities,” he said. ”It is great for them to get outside of the classroom to use their brains.”

Peter Beeson, Chautauqua County Education Coalition, said the event not only showcases students and creative activities, but also highlights local businesses and nonprofits who can help students interested in careers in science. He said 20 businesses and 20 nonprofits were on campus for the event.

”I hope the students learn from the local businesses to learn about the interesting jobs here so they are encouraged to stay in town to provide Chautauqua County with a strong workforce,” he said.

Kathy Toy, Lake ErieNiagara Region Science Olympiad coordinator, said local school districts usually don’t get to participate in the Science Olympiad-type events because it is usually held in the Buffalo area.

”Peter has done a fantastic job with this event,” she said. ”There is a direct connection to what they are learning in the classroom.”