March 1, 2018

Badin High students cop TechOlympics Showcase


It’s hard to win a TechOlympics competition without the tech, but when you’re six students from Badin High School … you improvise, and win anyway.

“Sometimes it’s not the tech that counts,” said Mr. David Gretz, who teaches Badin’s upper level tech courses, “but how you deliver the information and how well you know the material.”

The Badin students captured the TechOlympics Showcase at the Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati over the weekend of Feb. 24-25. That’s the premier event in the annual tech competition that brings hundreds of high school students from Southwest Ohio to the Queen City.

Badin’s winning entry was a mobile application entitled “ImpACT: The Opportunity to Step Forward in Your Community.” Users can navigate a particular community through the app to find opportunities for service, local businesses to patronize, positive local news, and local officials to contact with ideas or for assistance.

“It was an honor to win the showcase,” Badin senior Nick Eyl said. “There were so many other great schools competing. Badin’s never won it before, so this was quite an accomplishment.”

The group’s presentation to 600 of their peers Sunday afternoon went flawlessly … but it was a different story Saturday morning when they presented to the panel of judges in a small conference room. When they faced the judges, nothing worked – no website, no slides, no visual aids. Nothing. All the connections failed.

So, the Badin students simply presented. The judges were able to use a laptop computer to watch a 3.5 minute video that the students had prepared to explain the app, but other than that it was just the students explaining their work.

“They had worked on it for months, and it showed,” Gretz said. “They knew their stuff. Then when they were able to present to the full convention of students on Sunday, with all the visuals working, it was very, very impressive.”

Members of the winning showcase team included seniors Eyl, Kyla Boback, Jon Moran, Jessica Tri-Rudolf, Jacob Waggoner and junior Christopher Hetterich.

The app was similar to one the students had used to win the 8th Congressional District challenge, Gretz noted, “but they had multiplied the options, given it a lot more depth and precision, and made it a more user-friendly tool, which is really the key to a successful app.

"The student presentation was very professional," Gretz added. "If these students want to be tech professionals one of these days, they certainly will be."

A total of 21 Badin students attended the TechOlympics, and other competition winners included junior Jessica Rees, sophomore Kevin Fehring, while seniors Eyl and Tri-Rudolf were multiple winners.

“We really enjoyed being there,” Eyl said. “There were so many outstanding keynote speakers – they were all very inspiring. It was a ton of fun.”

Other attendees from Badin included senior Dominic Anthony, juniors Brady Bauer, Zack Brossart and Henry Thompson; sophomores Kellina Brannen, Garrett Eldridge, Scott Day and Max Hall; and freshmen Evan Drake, Preston Frisch, Mark Paciorek, Hanna Ritchie and Alexis Richter.

Contact: Dirk Q. Allen, (513) 863-3993, ext. 120; Dallen@BadinHS.org

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