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posted May 2, 2016, 11:03 AM by Deborah Wickliffe   [ updated Jun 9, 2016, 5:02 AM by Kathy Ballard ]
A team of four students from Keowee Elementary School won the Regional Jet Toy Competition at Daniel High School last week and will participate in the International Jet Toy Competition in Detroit, Michigan on April 13.

Since Christmas, teams at James Brown Elementary, Northside Elementary, Keowee Elementary, and Tamassee-Salem Elementary have participated in Jet Toy challenges at their schools. The top two scores from each school then competed at the district level competition. 

The Engineers, from Tamassee-Salem Elementary, and The Keowee Cubs, from Keowee Elementary, were the district winners with scores of 98.0 and 91.53 respectively. Those two teams then went on to the regional competition and represented SDOC well. In fact, The Keowee Cubs won first place at the Regional Jet Toy Competition with an impressive score of 130.69. 

Principal Josh Holliday says, “This is our second year competing in the Jet Toy Competition. Our students worked hard designing and fine tuning their cars for each aspect of the competition. I was very pleased with their performance at the regional competition. They have now set their sights on the International competition on April 13th. The students will continue practicing while we plan and fundraise for our trip to Detroit. I am proud of their accomplishments.”

The JetToy Challenge is a friendly competition where Engineering Design Teams of four students explore and test the performance of a vehicle they have designed and constructed. The teams then compete against each other in distance, accuracy, weight carrying and timed events.

SDOC has a strong STEM initiative this year to help students be more competitive in the workplace. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But although the STEM initiative is extremely important, and opportunities like the Jet Toy Challenge are invaluable to student learning, the extra funds necessary for teacher training and materials are not always available. In such cases, sometimes local businesses step in to help.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Ginger Hopkins said, “Experiences like this are extremely valuable for our students. We especially want to thank Borg Warner in Seneca for donating significant funds toward our district STEM initiative. These funds are earmarked for teacher training on the AWIM kits (A World in Motion) which support Motion and Design concepts in elementary, middle and high schools. Their generous donation allowed us to purchase the Jet Toy science kits for all teachers who attended the training both last school year and this fall.”

She continued, “We are so fortunate to have committed business partners in our county. We could not provide these curricular-extension experiences for our students without additional resources provided to us. Now our students are traveling to an international competition because of the support of a local industry! We cannot thank Borg Warner enough for this opportunity!”

Good luck, Keowee Cubs! Oconee County will be cheering for you!