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The Mexico Ledger - Mexico, MO
  • Hart Career Center team wins first in state SkillsUSA contest

  • Students design "Bovine Buster" to help farmers
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  • A team from the Project Lead the Way program at Hart Career Center recently placed first in the state SkillsUSA contest. The win qualifies the three students to advance to the national competition.
    The students designed a 'Bovine Buster' which can notify farmers when fences are down.
    "The students designed and built a working prototype," teacher Hester Russell said. "It is a small unit that can be programmed with the farmer's phone number. If the fence goes down, the unit activates and sends the farmer an alert via text message."
    Members of the team presenting the project at the state contest were Trenton Johnson, Alex Shaw and Conner Templeton, all from Mexico. "The best part of the competition was when the judges asked us questions," Johnson said. "The question and answer session let us tell about our project."
    The project was a class project of eight students. "SkillsUSA will only allow three students to actually present the project," Russell said. "I held a local competition where all eight students competed to see which ones would win the three presenter spots."
    Other students involved in the class are Kerry Ahrens, Emily Polacek, Brandon Resa and Austin Barnett from Mexico, and Slade Luna from Van-Far.
    The students cite the practicality of their project as one of the reasons it won first place. "We went with something that was in need for our rural area," Shaw said. "We were prepared because we had help from our teachers Mr. Murphy and Mrs. Russell, and we had interviewed area farmers."
    Johnson, Shaw and Templeton will present their project at the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City in June.

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