MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

February 7, 2013

Academics come to life in contest

— The wise put knowledge into action.

The students from 23 schools who competed in the Mathematics and Engineering Design Competition last week did exactly that.

In the Muskogee Civic Center, 175 students from elementary through high school tested their engineering mettle in two competitions:

• To build the highest tower using only office paper and tape.

• To get their mousetrap operated vehicle to go the farthest.

A total of 338 students competed in math tests including algebra, geometry and advanced math.

Giving students the chance to compete in and be recognized for skill in math and engineering is great. It encourages involvement in these important subject areas and can provide competitors recognition and a sense of accomplishment.

More importantly, the contest shows competitors the practical side of academic disciplines that are essential in modern life.

“It brings to life situations in their classes that can apply to problem-solving skills,” Warner School Superintendent David Vinson said.

Edna McMillan, Indian Capital Technology Center administrator, said workers skilled in science, technology, engineering and math are in high demand.

Events such as this one and the recent VEX Robotics Competition hosted by the Cherokee Nation give students a taste of the practical side of subjects they study.

That taste may be just the thing that propels a young man or woman into college and a career in one of the many technical disciplines.

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