BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Secondary students at the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center (GACTC) impressed judges at an engineering competition at Carnegia Science Center of Pittsburgh.

The students placed in the top eight teams at the National Engineers Week Chain Reaction Contraption Contest, which took place Dec. 10, the GACTC announced.

The annual contest fosters an interest in engineering by challenging students to create a machine that will accomplish a specific task in at least 20 steps. In 2021, officials said the task was “turn the page.”

Each team submits preliminary design drawings for their contraption, project progress photos/videos and reports to document their contraption’s evolution. Then, teams present their contraptions for judging based on functionality, complexity and creativity in achieving the task.

Over 30 schools participated in the 2021 competition, and in addition to placing top eight, the GACTC team also won “Rookie of the Year” among all the schools participating for the first time.

GACTC students on the team are:

  • Cameron Brown (Claysburg-Kimmel High School)
  • Cameron Krause (Altoona Area High School)
  • Owen McCarville (Homeschooled)
  • Shane Rachael (Bellwood-Antis High School)
  • Evan Snelling (Hollidaysburg Area High School)

Click here to see an image of their contraption on GACTC’s website.

“Many judges/observers were impressed with our use of electronics and motorized steps,” Brian Kelley, GACTC Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology teacher, said. “We also used a programmable controller to help run our electronic circuits.”

For more information about the GACTC, they said to call 814-941-TECH or by visiting them online.

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