Shelly Ferch spied on her son at the Alabama Council for Technology in
Education’s regional fair Friday.
Brad Ferch, an eighth-grader at Guntersville Middle School, had left his
project unattended. His mom listened on giant headphones as a video of Brad
played, giving instructions on how to play guitar. It was the only way he’d let
her see the project, she said.
“I used to be surprised, but not any more,” Shelly said of her son’s
technological handiwork. “That’s the way he is.”
At the Northeast and East Central Regional Fair, held at Jacksonville State
University since the 1990s, it’s the students who give the lessons.
Terry Marbut, department head for technology and engineering at JSU, said 570
students from more than 30 schools competed Friday for a chance to make it to
the state tournament in April.
The fair exposes students to careers in technology and judges them on
projects ranging from multimedia creations to Web site design.
Teresa Zimmer, state president of the Alabama Council for Technology and
Education, said judges like students who know how to use their software and
whose projects serve an educational purpose.
Sebastian Cuevas, from Saks High School, made a short film using his
Macintosh computer. Called “Only for the Boss,” the film combines three
pre-selected elements, which he turned into a “mobster movie.”
His teacher, Katrina Graben, was confident it was first-place material.
“These guys worked really hard on this,” Graben said. She said the school won
in three or four categories last year. “We want to go to state.”
Kim Knight, business education teacher for Winterboro High School, said her
students entered three Web page designs. Her students also entered two
multi-media projects — one on teen drug prevention, the other on cyber-security.
This was the school’s first time at the tournament. She said her students
teach her something new every day.
“A lot of them excel at school, but maybe not socially,” Knight said of the
tournament. “This gives them that backbone.”
About Dan Whisenhunt
Dan Whisenhunt covers K-12 schools and higher
education for The Star.
See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com