On April 12, 2018 the Fairbury SkillsUSA students traveled to Grand Island Nebraska for the annual State Leadership Conference. Skills USA for those that don’t know is a national organization who’s goal is to provide people with Skills to keep America’s workforce strong. People who can fix things, figure out how things tick and to fill a never ending demand for trained service people. This year’s participants were: Dalton Buxton, Josh Robertson, Hailie Nicholson, Traislynn Nicholson, Keely Schramm, Taylor Gustafson, Taylea Mills, and Andrew Novotny. Students from all over the state competed in over 250 different contests some of which were going on at the same time. The following students competed in these events:
Dalton Buxton and Josh Robertson went with Advanced Drone Technology. They finished second overall and will receive silver medals. The boys had to prepare a notebook worth 700 points and fly the drone through an obstacle course behind a screen using a cell phone application as the means to see what the drone could see. The boys were also scheduled to compete in Team Technical Problem solving but due to the weather many schools were forced to leave early so we did not get to compete in the late event. The interstate was even closed west of Grand Island and we have very very high winds and roads were to get very slick.
Taylea Mills competed in Prepared Speech and did a fine job. I got to see her compete and many others as well. It was neat to see the different styles of speeches and methods used. Her topic was what being job ready means to her in the area of Skills Technical Sciences. She also competed in Early Childhood Development where she had to prepare a lesson plan and show what she would teach if she were teaching in a public school.
Keely Schramm competed in Cosmetology where she had to prepare hairstyles the judges wanted. She did a fine job and this was her first year in this competition. She also competed in State Tee Shirt Design where students design the Tee shirt that will be picked for next year’s State Leadership Conference.
Taylor Gustafson took part the state tee shirt competition as well and photography. This was also her first year in SkillsUSA as a competitor. She did a fine job and learned a lot from the experience. I was proud of her.
Traislynn Nicholson signed up for Nursing contest. There were many students in this contest. Each student had a written knowledge test and a performance test where they had to perform a task and were graded on it. She too was scheduled to compete in Team Technical Problem solving but could not due to the weather.
Andrew Novotny took part in Power Equipment Technology or what some call Small Engine Mechanics and Repair. Here students had to visit different stations where they did tasks on all stations from measuring with micrometers, to trouble shooting, to engine part inspection and failure analysis. Andrew did a fine job his first year and learned a lot of what to expect in the future. He also drew up plans for his CO 2 car and competed in the Metric 500 race. He had to design and build a car before the competition and hand it in. The cars are inspected and measured before they are raced by a team of judges.
Our last competitor I wanted to mention was Hailie Nicholson. She competed in Commercial baking. In this event, students are given certain recipes they have to make and a time limit. They are graded on appearance of the food items on display, taste and techniques used. They are also graded on food preparation safety as health is a big issue in the restaurant business. She also competed in the State Tee Shirt design contest.
Overall, the students learned a lot and even though we were a young team and most students did not know what to expect as this was their first competition, I was proud of their accomplishments. I am looking forward to next year. I would also like to thank Mr. Ben Mills and his wife Nicki for helping drive and chaperone the students. I could not have made it all happen without them. Thank you!
We would like to invite anyone that would like to know more about SkillsUSA and what it can do for them to stop by and talk to either Mr. Scott or one of the SkillsUSA members. We will be glad to let you know what Skills has to offer. Until next year, keep on learning and discovering new things and learning new Skills!