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Registration open for student trade competition

SALISBURY — In just a few weeks, Rowan-Salisbury students will have a chance to show off their skills as they build, carve and brainstorm during the district’s second Career and Technical Education competition.

“A lot of these students are not students who might be recognized anywhere else. … But they have a skill set, and this is a chance to show that off,” said Mandy Mills, director of CTE.

The competition is organized by the district’s CTE department and Rowan Partners for Education, a nonprofit organization.

Scheduled for March 17 at the Rowan County Fairgrounds, the competition will require students to complete a project on site within a time limit. They will then be judged on their skills and the effectiveness of the finished product.

Last year, the district’s first CTE competition was open only to students in woodworking and masonry. But this year, Mills said, teachers wanted to do something a little bit different.

“This year, we wanted to expand,” she said. “… We’re trying to bring in as many areas as we can.”

In addition to traditional trade classes like masonry, students may also compete if they are enrolled in or have completed classes in agriculture, culinary arts, communications, business and marketing, or family and consumer science.

Projects will be completed at the fairgrounds for trade classes and at a quieter location for others.

“Building a brick wall in the classroom is very different from the atmosphere we put them in,” Mills said of the competition. “… It gives them practice performing under pressure.”

It also gives them a chance to practice keeping a cool head for upcoming state and national competitions, where the stakes are much higher.

Mills hopes to have more than 200 students participating this year, and she has heard from interested schools as far away as the Outer Banks.

“I think it has the potential to grow,” she said.

Materials for competitions will be donated by local businesses, and student works will in turn be donated to local parks and schools. The competition will feature cash prizes up to $1,000. All proceeds will go to send local students to state and national competitions.

Usually, Mills explained, the district is forbidden from sponsoring a specific student to attend a competition — but this event offers a sort of loophole by contributing to all CTE competitions.

“So this was a way to help all the students in the county to make sure they get to their state and national competitions,” she said.

Registration is due March 2. There is an entry fee of $25 per individual per event and $50 per team per event. Individuals must be enrolled in the CTE class in which they are competing or must have completed it in the past in order to participate.

Visit www.cterowan.com to register.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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