PHOTOS: 18 Shawsheen Tech Students Compete At SkillsUSA National Conference

BILLERICA, MA — Eighteen students from Shawsheen Tech recently attended the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, KY where they competed in a variety of skill areas including Basic Health Care Skills, Health Knowledge Bowl, Screen Printing, Technical Computer Applications, Entrepreneurship, Team Works, and Residential Wiring.

Ten students placed 6th place or higher, including one first place finisher. Megan Brown, a junior in the Health Assisting program from Billerica, earned a gold medal in Basic Health Care Skills, with a total score of 958/1000. Megan’s competition consisted of a written knowledge test, a presentation on blood typing, an oral interview as well as different hands on stations. These stations included demonstrating skills in calculating a patient’s total fluid intake and output, taking and documenting vital signs, and the application of sterile gloves. Megan said the sterile gloves station was the toughest because everything had to be perfect, and several competitors had difficulty maintaining sterility and were unable to complete this skill.

The Health Knowledge Bowl team earned a 4th place finish. The team consisted of senior Sarah Constantino from Tewksbury, juniors Michelle Chen from Wilmington and Elaina Cobb of Billerica, and sophomore Leah Veloz from Tewksbury. Health Knowledge Bowl is a competition where students from health programs answer health related questions in a jeopardy-like format. Questions are taken from USA Today’s Health section as well as from standard curriculum. Students must know a host of health topics ranging from diseases and anatomy to safety and ethics.

Also finishing 4th was Shaunna Ford from Billerica, a junior in the Graphic Communications program who competed in Screen Printing. This 2-day competition tested Shaunna’s skills in screen coating, inspection, and tensioning on Day 1 and print inspection, registration and the ability to print six perfect 6-color shirts in 7 minutes on Day 2. This contest was a tight one, with Shaunna scoring 6 points away from a perfect score.

Coming in 6th place was the team made up of plumber James Alagna and carpenter Conor Roy, both seniors from Billerica, electrician Jessica Cacciola, a senior from Tewksbury and mason Madison Musto, a junior from Wilmington. These students competed in Team Works, a grueling 4 day contest that brings together a plumber, carpenter, electrician, and mason and challenges them to construct a one room dwelling. They were given plans to build the dwelling that required plumbing and electricity, it had to be sided with a window and roof as well as a brick faced foundation. Based on the plans, the team had to first compile a stock list and place the timely order for stock. They also had to deliver a building plan to the committee before the work could begin. Once construction began, the team worked together, assisting one another throughout the course of the 3 day construction, as well as a 4th day of deconstruction, which was judged as well. This year’s plans featured a surprise for the carpenter; a hip roof, something new for this contest. In true Shawsheen fashion, the instructors provided stock and training in the hotel the night before construction was to begin so Conor would be prepared the next day. Hero of the week went to Maddie Musto who smashed her finger with a hammer on Day 1, but never once left the competition. Despite her injury, her masonry work was complete and neat.

Competing in Technical Computer Applications was Billerica senior Ben Quattrocchi who graduated from the Office Technology program this year. His competition consisted of working with the Microsoft application suite setting up and troubleshooting documents as well as configuring operating systems. Ben also had to demonstrate proficiency in networking and troubleshooting application problems as they arose. This was Shawsheen’s first time competing in this competition and Ben did a great job!

Also from Office Technology was the Entrepreneurship team consisting of Billerica seniors Jacqueline Woodward and Marissa Kearney, Tewksbury senior Noah Canto and Billerica junior Matthew Callahan. Their competition was based on the ability to navigate the waters of creating a startup company. The company they proposed was a non-profit designed to provide services to returning veterans and their families to help integrate them back into society and the workforce. Their business plan outlined the costs of the operation, including the funding sources for a non-profit. They outlined the different organizations they would work with to provide outreach for this underserved population as well as describing the various professionals needed to provide the services they recommended.

Christopher Spurrell from Billerica, a senior in the Electrical program, competed in Electrical Construction Wiring. His 2-day contest required demonstration of his skills in bending conduit for several different areas using different angles and wiring four separate circuits, all connecting back to an electrical panel. Competition was stiff as there were 48 high school students competing for the top spots.

Joining our team were two state gold medal winners whose contests did not have a national contest; Burlington’s Emily Ovesen, a junior in Cosmetology and Bedford resident Grace Clark, a sophomore from the Masonry program. While at Nationals, Emily attended some of the briefings and observed the competitors in the Cosmetology over 500 hours contest, which will help her prepare for competition next year. Grace competed at the state level in Non-traditional Portfolio. This is a contest that requires students from non- traditional trades to create and present a program for 7th & 8th grade students describing what it is like to work in a non-traditional program. Grace described her journey, starting with her entry into Shawsheen, through the completion of the Explore Program leading to her choice of Masonry, a traditionally male dominated industry, as her Shop choice. Grace presented her program to students who attended Shawsheen’s Project Explore program during the winter and spring sessions. While at Nationals, Grace attended several delegate sessions, observing first-hand the process a candidate goes through to be elected to national office. She enjoyed this leadership position so much she has hopes of running for SkillsUSA Massachusetts state office next school year.

All in all, Shawsheen had another successful trip to the SkillsUSA National conference and is looking forward to preparing for next year.

Below are photos from the event. Click to enlarge.


(NOTE: The above press release & photos are from the Shawsheen Tech.)

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