Tech Wars Returns to GCC

Middle and High School Students to Battle in 9th Annual Competition

Batavia, New York – When the Tech Wars come to Genesee Community College next week, more than 600 students from 18 regional middle and high schools will literally ‘commandeer’ the campus. From the Regatta held in the swimming pool to the SUMO Bots, Catapults and Bridge Designs in the Forum; the Robotic Tractor Pull in the gym; the Rube Goldberg competition in the Cafeteria; and the Sculpture event in the Student Union—GCC loves hosting the Tech Wars! The event so dominates the College’s Batavia Campus that it must be scheduled during GCC’s academic Spring Break to allow Tech Wars ample space for the all the hands-on, learning competitions that are both fun and fascinating.

The exciting Tech Wars is happening Thursday, March 17, 2016 and is hosted by the College’s ACE (Accelerated College Enrollment) Program for students in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming Counties) region. This will be the ninth year that the event brings area middle and high school students to GCC’s Batavia campus where teams of students work collaboratively to demonstrate their technical expertise through innovative, mind-expanding competitions. The students arrive on GCC’s Batavia Campus at 8:30 a.m., with the competitions scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony luncheon from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

Students participate in a variety of challenges, generally in groups of two or more. Some of the competitions involve bringing projects they’ve been working on to campus. New this year is VEX Robotics Company providing a demonstration in tandem VRC Tournament (, a global competition involving students from colleges and universities around the world, which future students may want to participate in.

“Each year, organizers try to introduce new technology and new problem solving challenges, and this year is no different,” Debbie Dunlevy, GCC Career Pathways director said. “We are definitely covering some new ground by giving students the broadest perspective for their interests and efforts. Tech Wars help students understand what it takes to collaborate successfully and also sheds light on the types of careers paths they might pursue in the not too distant future.”

With 30 different events, students will be challenged in an array of technologies. The 2016 Middle School events include: Bridge Design, Catapult Design, CO2 Car and Truck Race, the walk-in Design Challenge, Tech Wars Logo Design, Mousetrap Car, Mystery Project, Rube Goldberg and Sculpture Event designing an amusement ride. The 2016 High School events Bridge Design, Architectural Design in CAD, CO2 Car and Truck Challenge, DDP Manual Drafting, King of the Hill, Logo, Mystery Project, On Site CAD Project, Regatta, Reverse Engineered CAD Drawing, Robotic Tractor Pull, Sculpture Event, SUMO Bots and Trebuchet which must launch a projectile at a given target 40 feet away.

For the rules and details on all these competitions, go to

The event would not be possible without significant sponsorships. At the $500 (or more) level are Amada Machine Tools America Inc., Graham Corporation, Liberty Pumps and Northeast Technologies, Inc. Other sponsors include DWB Enterprises, Inc., Lee Schuknecht & Sons, and the Varysburg Lions Club.

“The support of these businesses is essential to creating a successful event for all participants,” Dunlevy said. “We thank them for their investment, and for supporting what could be their future employees.”

The ACE Program’s Career Pathways helps students explore career options and make a smooth transition from high school to college and ultimately to professional careers. Tech Wars is among several dynamic programs giving students the opportunity to learn hands-on, often in business settings and with industry professionals.

For more information, please contact Debbie Dunlevy, Genesee Community College Career Pathways program director at 585-343-0055 ext. 6316 or

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Editor’s Note:
For photographs from the 2015 Tech Wars at GCC go to GCC’s Facebook Photo album at: