MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Watch out world, the next pool of brilliant minds in science, technology, engineering, and math may be right in Manatee County.
Manatee students win big at the state conference for Technology Student Association and took home 119 out of 219 awards and a state championship.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team as a whole how we pulled together,” says Jordan Brown, 8th grader at Haile Middle School.
The students build game scoring robots. “The objective is to get as many points as possible and hopefully not break your robot,” says Griffin Hudson, 8th grader at Haile Middle School.
Then there’s the 5-foot tall board game that helps students with special needs.
“We have Connect 4, chess, checkers, corn dog, Jenga,” says Jordan. The games can be played by everyone.
There’s also a safety feature for kids on bikes. The kids designed an alarm mounted to the handle bar in case a child falls or is abducted. “When tilts 45 degrees and sends ear piercing sound,” describes Jordan.
All different… what ties them together…they’re all state award winners.
Jordan says, “We won 14 first, 8 second, and 7 third place. It shows kids are capable.”
Haile Middle School’s Technology Student Association are state champions!
Phillip says, “It’s pretty cool. We all worked pretty hard to get where we are.”
“It was stressful. We ate a lot of pizza, we were here a lot of time,” adds Jordan.
A lot of time spent on science, technology, engineering and math…known as STEM subjects ---the kind many kids don’t describe as fun but necessary to compete in today’ world.
Phillip tells other students afraid of these subjects to try it. He says, “It is fun they should try to challenge themselves.”
Especially girls--Jordan is one of only a few girls in the group in a field dominated by guys. She tells girls who are too scared to break the mold.
Jordan says, “Believe in yourself…be creative…go out in the community and do something most wouldn’t.”
And maybe you too can come out on top.
Phillip says, “The fun part is bringing home the trophy.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” adds Jordan.
Haile Middle School students will head next to the world championships next month and nationals in June.