Education briefs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2019

Rowan-Cabarrus student honored at SkillsUSA

A career and technical student at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College won one of the highest awards at the 2019 SkillsUSA Championships, held in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 26-27.

Chris Basinger of Salisbury was awarded a skill point certificate in sheet metal.

Skill point certificates were awarded in 72 occupational and leadership areas to students who met a threshold contest score defined by their respective industries. The certificate is a component of SkillsUSA’s assessment program for career and technical education.

More than 6,500 students competed at the championships, a national showcase of career and technical education and the largest skill competition in the world. The annual competition covers 1.4 million square feet, equivalent to 20 football fields or 25 acres.

Students were invited to demonstrate their technical, workplace and personal skills in 103 hands-on competitions including robotics, automotive technology, drafting, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. Industry leaders from 600 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions evaluated the contestants against standards for entry-level workers.

Industry support of the SkillsUSA Championships is valued at over $36 million in donated time, equipment, cash and material, and more than 1,100 industry judges and technical committee members participated this year.

“This showcase of career and technical education demonstrates our SkillsUSA partnership at its finest,” said SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence. “Our students, instructors and industry partners work together to ensure that every student excels. This program expands learning and career opportunities for our members.”

Nationally recognized summer STEM program coming to Salisbury area

Camp Invention, a nationally recognized, nonprofit summer enrichment camp, is coming to the Salisbury area.

Using hands-on activities, Camp Invention promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning; builds confidence, leadership, perseverance, resourcefulness and problem-solving skills; and encourages entrepreneurship — in a fun and engaging environment. 

These hands-on activities include: 

• Innovation Force: Campers team up to battle the evil Plagiarizer, a supervillain who is out to steal the world’s greatest ideas. As children create a device to retrieve the stolen ideas, they learn about the importance of intellectual property and the U.S. patent system.

• Deep Sea Mystery: The children embark on a research adventure at sea to dig up fossils. Using lessons and advice from National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, they invent island-survival tools and underwater equipment.

• Farm Tech: Campers are put in charge of managing their own farms as they learn the basics of running a business. With the assistance of the Bot-ANN-E robot, they learn fundamental coding techniques to maximize time and profit. Children also are introduced to DNA syntheses, in which they perform a mock experiment to check the health of newly purchased livestock.

• DIY Orbot: The children explore frequency, circuit boards, motors and gears as they use real tools to reverse engineer a remote-control robot. Throughout the week, campers adapt DIY Orbot to perform increasingly challenging tasks.

The camp will be held at West Rowan Elementary School in Cleveland and Boger Elementary School in Kannapolis the week of July 15-18.

Regional program sponsors include the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Nordson Corporation Foundation, Salisbury-Rowan Community Foundation and TE Connectivity.

Registration underway for fall classes at Rowan-Cabarrus

SALISBURY — Registration is open for fall classes at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, which says more students than ever are taking advantage of affordable tuition, small classes with personal attention from instructors, transferrable credits and pathways to lucrative careers.

“We are preparing to welcome students this fall and hope to continue our upward trajectory as a top educational choice,” said Michael Quillen, vice president of academic programs. “We experienced an 8% growth from fall 2017 to fall 2018, and we are seeing increased interest for the upcoming fall semester as well.”

Rowan-Cabarrus offers traditional classes, internships, online classes, and credits that transfer to four-year institutions.

“We have many students who come to the college for our high-quality courses and then transfer to a state university in North Carolina as a junior,” said college President Carol S. Spalding. “The cost savings in tuition, fees, books, and room and board is significant, so they can end up with far less debt when they finish their education.”

In fact, about half of all Rowan-Cabarrus students intend to transfer to a four-year college or university. Top state institutions, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, accept hundreds of Rowan-Cabarrus transfer students each year.

“I would advise anyone who is looking at college to take advantage of the affordability, quality of education and personal attention that Rowan-Cabarrus offers,” said Eva Nicholson, the 2018-19 Rowan-Cabarrus Student Government Association president.

Nicholson graduated in May with an associate in arts degree and plans to continue her education at a four-year university.

“I have grown as a student and as a person during my time here, and I feel it has positioned me for success as I continue my educational journey,” Nicholson said

Anyone interested in taking classes should begin the application and registration process as soon as possible. Apply online at or stop by the navigation station at North or South campuses for assistance.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).