Society & Culture

Two high school teams advance to national TEAMS competition

Two high school teams advance to national TEAMS competition

Athens, Ga. – Teams from two Georgia high schools-The Academy of Richmond County in Augusta and Grayson High School in Loganville-who competed at the University of Georgia earlier this year have advanced nationally in the 2009 Junior Engineering Technical Society’s TEAMS competition.

TEAMS, which stands for Test of Engineering, Aptitude, Mathematics and Science, brought 44 student participants to UGA earlier this year for a competition that fosters creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving, said John Mativo, an assistant professor in the College of Education’s department of workforce education, leadership and social foundations; and member in the faculty of engineering.

The TEAMS 2009 theme was “Behind the Scenes: Theme Parks.” There were two sessions within the competition: a 90-minute, 80 multiple choice question session in the morning and a 90-minute, open-ended, four-question session in the afternoon.

The Academy of Richmond County, coached by Patricia Croft, and Grayson High School, coached by Billy Jones, were among six student teams advancing from Georgia, the national TEAMS office announced on April 2. The other four were Chamblee High School of Chamblee, Northside High School of Columbus, Frederick Douglass High School of Atlanta and Columbus High School of Columbus.

Other high scoring teams in the competition at UGA included Rockdale Magnet School of Conyers, coached by David Bonar; Lucy C. Laney High School of Augusta, Hephzibah High School of Hephzibah, and A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet High School of Augusta, all coached by Patricia Croft.

“Many high school students perceive math and science classes as dry,” Mativo said. “To bring these two courses to life, students need to use these disciplines in a systematic way to solve real problems. For example, the flow rate of fluid in a tube can model the blood traveling in a vein or artery. Math would be used to find out of where the blood’s velocity is highest by calculating the flow rate, while the science part would analyze conditions of the substrate in which the blood flows. Combined, math and science become the basis of engineering design and analysis.”

Mativo worked with Chi Thai, an associate professor in the department of biological and agricultural engineering, which co-sponsored the project that was praised by student participants and coaches.

“I was not aware of the strong engineering program at Georgia before this competition,” Croft said. “It was well run. My students were excited to be a part of this competition and look forward to participating again.”

Annually, more than 14,000 students across the country participate in TEAMS competitions. Questions are aligned with national education standards. UGA is one of four competition sites for Georgia students. Other sites include Atlanta University Center, Savannah State University, and Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

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