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P-TECH students compete in industry challenge

Students in the Oswego County Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program put their critical thinking and engineering skills to the test during a recent conveyor belt-building competition.

The competition, designed and sponsored by P-TECH partner Novelis Inc., consisted of 65 students from three cohorts.

Teams were challenged to design and build a conveyor belt system capable of efficiently transporting large volumes of scrap metal to keep up with growing customer demand. Using provided materials, students constructed small-scale conveyor belt systems similar to those Novelis uses for sheet metal production. 

“What made the Industry Challenge special was that P-TECH graduates, who now work full time for Novelis, assisted in the projects design and implementation,” Oswego County P-TECH Principal Brian Heffron said. “Our current students were able to see first-hand where the P-TECH pathway will take them and the importance of P-TECH alumni giving back what they can to assist in our future graduates’ success.”

The competition ended with awards being given to the winning teams.

Team “Giving Triskaidekaphobia,” consisting of team members Seth Arnold, William Appleton, Cody Miner and Solomon Campbell received the award for “Fastest Conveyor.”

Team “Sixteen,” consisting of team members Alexander Davis, Gary Dupont, Ryan Sandler and Corbin Hare received the award for “Fastest Modified Conveyor.”

Team “Mr. Ingersoll’s Mustache,” consisting of team members Ryan Szyikowski, Wolf Engle, Lillian Kohlbach and Vincent Hubbard received the “Creativity” award.

Team “Lego for the Win,” consisting of team members Alan Tubman, Collin Crouse, Andrew Schleuter and Kristin Craw received the “Teamwork” award.

Team “Green Juice,” consisting of team members Emma Burger, Caleb Cunningham, Joshua Clement and Mariah Janes received the “Best Team Overall” award.

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“Novelis is incredibly proud of our longstanding partnership with P-TECH as part of our commitment to supporting STEM education and career readiness in our community,” said Kristen Nelson, Plant Manager, Novelis Oswego. “Students in the P-TECH program don’t just learn technical skills, they learn to get curious, be creative and collaborate with a team to develop innovative solutions. These are the skills that will help them flourish in STEM-related careers with great employers like Novelis.”

The competition’s focus is the utilization of STEM skills that students have learned. Being that students were broken up into teams, critical thinking, communication, and dependability were also important skills that students had to demonstrate and utilize.