More than 500 students from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas designed and raced CO2 powered dragsters, built and tested towers, created graphic designs, and competed in a technology quiz bowl and a problem-solving challenge.
"The idea is just to promote friendly competition among schools and for educators to get to share ideas," says Vince Carter.
Carter, teaches Technology and Engineering Education at the university, and says the event forces the kids to get creative, but it's also an important training tool for his college students.
"They get a chance to work with students while they're under the gun," Carter says. "It gives folks that are going to be teachers an opportunity to participate in an event and to actually run it and judge and see some of the things that other teachers are doing in the schools."
Hunter Gullett always wanted to be a teacher, but he wasn't sure what route to take
"I don't like teaching from a traditional white board, 'this is how you do it, this is the only way you can do it,'" Gullett says.
He found his calling after filling in for his father, who teaches a career and technology class in Little Rock.
"I got the great opportunity to substitute for his class," he says. "I got the free reign of building the CO2 dragsters, getting them ready for competitions."
He says its fun to see the different ways kids respond to the challenges.
"This way your students problem solve, they think cognitively, they think critically on it," he says. "It's them working together in groups and more of a hands on approach."
Gullett hopes the event will convince some of the kids to pursue the same path.
"It opens your eyes up and it helps you learn what you want to do for a career before you go to college not really knowing what you're doing, wasting your time and money figuring it out," he says.
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