Lamoine Students First Middle School Students from Maine to Compete at National SkillsUSA Competition in Atlanta

In June, three students from Lamoine Consolidated School’s Team Engineering Challenge team made history by being the first middle school team to go to Atlanta, Georgia to compete at the National Leadership and SkillsUSA Conference. Benjamin Baldridge, Ian Frost, and Jordan Chan fundraised over $10,000 to attend the weeklong conference and compete in the world’s largest skill competition after winning gold at the State Championships in Bangor back in March.

“The Team Engineering Contest is designed to evaluate and recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the areas of critical and creative thinking skills and the decision-making process to solve a problem,” said Lamoine teacher Miranda Engstrom who accompanied the team to Atlanta. “The contest fosters creativity, innovation, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.” Students demonstrate an occupational skill and present a clear explanation of the topic through displays, examples, experiments, and practical testing operations.

The conference and competition ran from June 19-24 with students competing for 16 hours over the course of three days. The Lamoine students earned 9th place overall, and students also earned special Skill Point Certificates for meeting a threshold contest score. Students can then use these certificates in their employment portfolios to show proficiency and workplace readiness for a particular specialty.

These students are three of 42 middle school Career and Technical Education (CTE) students at Lamoine who compete at the Maine SkillsUSA competition. They are excited to attend the Maine State Leadership Conference again next March and try to qualify for Nationals again.

“They are excited to share with their peers and teachers all they learned during their conference and showcase their treasures they collected when we were in Atlanta,” said Engstrom. “They wish to thank the many generous donors that helped them fundraise to get them there, helped them grow as leaders and thinkers, and make memories that will last a lifetime.”