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Cazenovia teams place first, second in annual engineering challenge

"The Squad" team members, from left, Peter DeCew, Brendan Wells, Carl Bauder and Frank Marconi, along with their technology teacher and challenge advisor Jason Hyatt, pose with their awards.

"The Squad" team members, from left, Peter DeCew, Brendan Wells, Carl Bauder and Frank Marconi, along with their technology teacher and challenge advisor Jason Hyatt, pose with their awards. Photo by Jason Emerson.

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At the GHD High School Engineering Competition, the Chittenango High School team "Logan and the Hot Chicks," made up of, from left, Brianna Koegel (seated), Kari Cumber, Abby Cyr, Michelle Capeling, GHD team advisor Tanner DeWolf and Logan Rogers. The team placed third overall in the engineering competition and also won the Judge's Choice award for best improvement from written design to final project.

— The Cazenovia High School gym was filled with contraptions, cords and cables last Saturday, April 13, as more than 35 high school students from Cazenovia and Chittenango competed in the third annual GHD engineering challenge.

The event was the culmination of eight weeks of work researching, designing, presenting, constructing and, finally, bench testing prototype designs for devices that would test the principles of heating a three-room structure and maintain the heat inside at a certain temperature.

In the end, teams from Cazenovia placed first and second, while a Chittenago team not only placed third but also won the judge’s choice award for greatest improvement.

“Competitions like this make a great opportunity for the students to use the concepts and ideas and things they’ve learned in the classroom and apply them to real-world scenarios,” said Cazenovia High School technology teacher Jason Hyatt, who advised all five Cazenovia teams for the competition. “They’re getting experiences of what it’s like to be real engineers working in the field. Everyone, I’d say, has gotten something valuable out of this experience.”

This was the third year that the engineering challenge was sponsored by GHD, one of the world’s leading engineering, architecture and environmental consulting companies. They have offices around the world, including one in Cazenovia.

In 2011, the challenge was to design and construct a water filtration system; in 2012 it was to a recycling sorting system; and this year it was a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

“They get the experiences of electrical wiring, construction, design, safety and even when they request more information they have to do it through a submittal process — just like in the real world,” said Joe Campagna, a GHD engineer and the coordinating chair of the event.

“At the end of the challenge we hope we have intrigued the students enough that they consider a career in engineering,” said GHD service group manager and competition judge John LaGorga.

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