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News Releases
SkillsUSA Winners (left to right) Tucker Salisbury, Carter Huff, and Steven Jacka
SkillsUSA Winners (left to right) Tucker Salisbury, Carter Huff, and Steven Jacka
SkillsUSA SW Region Welding Competition Winners Announced (Photo) - 02/02/24

The SkillsUSA SW Region Welding Competition was held at Kelso High School on Wednesday, January 31.  Thirty-two students from twelve high schools competed in a variety of timed activities designed to test their skills. Competition activities included a written test, measuring gauges, oxy-fuel cutting processes, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and shielded metal arc welding while following proper safety requirements.

2024 SW REGION WINNERS

  • Regional Champion: Carter Huff, Kelso High School, Kelso School District
  • Silver Medalist: Tucker Salisbury, Kelso High School, Kelso School District
  • Bronze Medalist: Steven Jacka, Cascadia Tech, Evergreen School District

SW Region Winners will go on to the state competition held on March 22 in Tacoma at Clover Park Technical College.

Photos and b-roll of the SW Region Competition can be downloaded here.

Thanks to event sponsors:

  • Air Gas
  • Central Welding
  • United Association Local 26

 

About Kelso School District

Kelso School District has a goal of 100% (bit.ly/ksd-100) of students graduating high school and having post-secondary plans for college, career, trades, or military. Kelso’s CTE program offers approximately 75 on-site courses and 7 off-campus courses in partnership with industry leaders. Students can earn dual credit in 21 CTE courses. In the area of welding, the district offers the opportunity to earn five welding certifications. Kelso School District’s mission is to prepare every student for living, learning, and achieving success as a citizen of our changing world.

Mackenzie, Adison, Sequoia, and Claire
Mackenzie, Adison, Sequoia, and Claire
Coweeman Middle School a State Winner in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition (Photo) - 02/02/24

Coweeman Middle School in Kelso, WA, has been named a State Winner in the 14th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition, receiving a $12K prize package in Samsung technology.

Coweeman eighth graders Mackenzie Lee, Claire Cheslock, Sequoia Lamperth, and Adison Mean secured this spot with their project of creating a generator that can harness the kinetic energy of water to power small devices like phones and flashlights in the event of an outage. This team progressed from being one of 300 State Finalists to one of 50 State Winners.

“I was incredibly excited,” said Adison Mean, “but still nervous for the next round of judging." 

The process has been “tedious, but extremely rewarding,” Claire Cheslock added. “I think it’s been a very good learning opportunity.”

Their Advanced Science teacher, Jennifer Echtle agrees. “These smart young ladies are passionate about learning and doing some good for the world,” said Echtle.  “The learning curve for this project is staggering and they are conquering their goals one at a time.”

Taking a community-minded approach, the team has created a partnership with Cowlitz County Emergency Management to look at the application of their project.

"Our next steps are to solidify our plans, gather our materials, build our generator, and submit our video," said Mackenzie Lee. In addition to the $12K package, a Samsung Video Kit is being sent to assist the team in the development of their STEM solution pitch video.  

“We are very proud of the innovative solution these four young ladies have developed. The ability to keep informed, communicate with family, and report safety needs is essential in times of disaster,” said Rob Birdsell, principal of Coweeman Middle School. “We look forward to their continued work and recognition in this endeavor.” 

When asked about their chances of moving forward, Sequoia Lamperth said, "It has been going well so far, but we have stronger competitors and more work ahead of us. If we work hard and come up with a good prototype by the deadline, we might have a shot at becoming a National Winner."

From the 50 State Winners, 10 National Finalists will be announced on or about March 26, 2024. 

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a national competition designed to empower students in grades 6-12 to leverage the power of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to create innovative solutions addressing critical issues in their local communities.

The competition empowers public middle and high school students to catalyze change by applying Problem-based Learning (PBL) principles, environmental stewardship, and entrepreneurship to address some of society's most pressing challenges.

The full list of 50 State Winners can be found here.

STEM skills are key to a thriving workforce and new approaches in education are vital. Between 2022 and 2032, the number of STEM jobs are projected to grow 10.8%, a higher rate than non-STEM jobs. 

 

About Solve for Tomorrow
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow was designed to boost interest, proficiency, and diversity in STEM. Next in the competition:

  • Of the 50 State Winners
    • One will be recognized as visionaries for driving sustainable change through STEM innovation with a Sustainability Innovation Award, and an additional $50K prize package that includes Samsung ENERGY STAR® technology
    • One will be selected for the new Rising Entrepreneurship Award, receiving a $25K prize package to foster the development of a scalable, sustainable venture that extends beyond the competition
  • 10 National Finalist Schools will participate in a live pitch event where they will present their project to a panel of judges. Seven of these schools will be awarded $50K in Samsung tech and classroom supplies
  • A Community Choice Winner will also be determined through online voting by the general public, winning an additional $10K in prizes
  • An Employee Choice Winner will be selected by Samsung employees to receive an additional $10K in prizes
  • Judges will name 3 National Winners, each of whom earns a prize package worth $100K

For more information on the competition, go here. For media questions about Samsung Solve for Tomorrow, please reach out to Nancy Zakhary: SamsungSFT@relev8.co

 

About Kelso School District

Kelso School District has a goal of 100% (bit.ly/ksd-100) of students graduating high school and having post-secondary plans for college, career, trades, or military. Our mission is to prepare every student for living, learning, and achieving success as a citizen of our changing world.

Wright takes 1st place at Cowlitz County Fair
Wright takes 1st place at Cowlitz County Fair
Kelso FFA Member Receives National Grant (Photo) - 01/30/24

A $1,000 Entrepreneurship Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grant has been awarded to Kelso High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) student Lexi Wright. The SAE grant (awarded by Cencora Impact Foundation) is designed to help FFA members create or expand SAE projects, a requirement that all FFA members must complete. 

Wright, a member of the Kelso FFA Chapter, currently serves as the chapter Treasurer.  Her project—raising market goats for the county fair—was selected from among 1,258 applications nationwide and was only 1 of 2 selected in the state of Washington. Last year, Wright’s first year showing market goats, she placed 1st in her market classes at both the Cowlitz County and Castle Rock fairs.

An SAE requires FFA members to create and operate an agriculture-related business, work at an agriculture-related business, or conduct an agricultural research experience. Upon completion, FFA members must submit a comprehensive report regarding their career development experience.

 

About Kelso School District

Kelso School District has a goal of 100% (bit.ly/ksd-100) of students graduating high school and having post-secondary plans for college, career, trades, or military. Our mission is to prepare every student for living, learning, and achieving success as a citizen of our changing world.

 

About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 945,000 student members as part of 9,163 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. 

 

About National FFA Foundation
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations, and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. A separately registered nonprofit organization, the foundation is governed by a board of trustees that includes the national FFA president, educators, business leaders and individual donors. For more, visit FFA.org/Give.