Cuero students go national with construction challenge

  • THE AEM CONSTRUCTION CHALLENGE CUERO TEAM

    Students:

    Colton Jacob

    Rian Wendel

    Veronica Melgoza

    Megan Proctor

    Jesse Padilla

    Ryan Beer

    Instructors:

    Paul Faulkner, drafting, building trades instructor

    Jaclyn Cox, math teacher

    Linda Colman, physics teacher

    Sponsors:

    Volvo Construction Equipment

    Cuero Education Foundation

    ...
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  • THE AEM CONSTRUCTION CHALLENGE CUERO TEAM

    Students:

    Colton Jacob

    Rian Wendel

    Veronica Melgoza

    Megan Proctor

    Jesse Padilla

    Ryan Beer

    Instructors:

    Paul Faulkner, drafting, building trades instructor

    Jaclyn Cox, math teacher

    Linda Colman, physics teacher

    Sponsors:

    Volvo Construction Equipment

    Cuero Education Foundation

    Pioneer Resources

  • PRIZES

    Overall Champions (for each member)

    First: $1,000 scholarship and Apple iPad

    Second: Apple iPad

    Third: Apple iPod Touch

    Challenge No. 1 winners

    First: Xbox 360 Kinect

    Second: Garmin GPS system

    Third: $100 Visa gift card

    Challenge No. 2 winners

    ...
  • SHOW ALL »
  • PRIZES

    Overall Champions (for each member)

    First: $1,000 scholarship and Apple iPad

    Second: Apple iPad

    Third: Apple iPod Touch

    Challenge No. 1 winners

    First: Xbox 360 Kinect

    Second: Garmin GPS system

    Third: $100 Visa gift card

    Challenge No. 2 winners

    First: $500 Best Buy gift card

    Second: Flip Ultra HD Camcorder

    Third: $100 Visa gift card

CUERO - With less than a week to go, a team of construction-minded high school juniors are busy preparing for a national challenge that could win them hundreds of dollars in scholarships and popular electronics.

The team is one of 24 teams in the nation that advanced to the AEM Construction Challenge in Las Vegas that begins Monday. Cuero's team ranked third among the 24 at its most recent qualifying regional meet.

The challenge is two-fold.

Challenge No. 1 is riddled with technical and logistical obstacles. Students must prepare a remote controlled car to haul cardboard materials over an obstacle course.

Seven students in all will be given 15 minutes to get the car across uneven terrain, load a stack of cardboard boxes, return the supplies, then build a structure.

"You'll be graded on how well you work together, how much volume you move from point A to point B," said Paul Faulkner, a drafting/building trades instructor who is a sponsor on the team. "And when it gets to point B, how well you put it together."

The school's building trades workshop is the site of their developments where the students remodeled a car to carry loads of small boxes. They used Plexiglass on top of the car to balance and strap down the cardboard boxes.

"If we have one little mistake, or one little mess up, it could ruin the whole thing," said Ryan Beer, a junior who's on the team.

Challenge No. 2 is to score points through a game show about water infrastructure policy.

A research team works daily in the school library, creating questions and researching answers to complex questions.

The group work helps the students bond, they said, an element that's crucial to placing first.

"Without getting along, we won't get more points for having our team work" said Megan Proctor, a junior on the team.

None of the students get school credit for the event, but work on the project during a daily 45-minute activity period and during spare time at school.

"We thought it'd be a good idea and it'd probably be fun," Ryan said.

This is the school's second time in three years to make it to the finals, but many of the students first time to travel to Las Vegas.

Three sponsors will escort the students. The group will return home on March 25.

"They're all first class ladies and gentleman," Faulkner said. "I trust them enough to take them Las Vegas."