College Tech Prep Students Wage Tech Wars at Genesee Community College

Students will have a chance to take what they learn in the technology classroom and compete in an exciting hands-on event at the second annual Tech Wars competition, scheduled for March 19, 2009 at Genesee Community College in Batavia, NY. Registration for the College Tech Prep event begins at 9:00 AM and the competition starts at 9:30 AM. From catapults to robots, manual drafting to web page design, the imagination and creativity of some of the brightest students in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties) region will be showcased during this day-long event.

The competition is open to middle and high school students, who will participate in multiple project-based events of skill, chance, and ability. Students will compete in bridge building, drafting, sumo robots, T-shirt design, and carbon dioxide dragster racing, among other events. The highlight of this year’s event will be the Sumo Robot Sled Pull.

“Hopefully, the interest in this competition will help to boost enrollments of technology classes because what is learned there can be transferred to initiatives at home, work and a wide range of careers on almost a daily basis,” said Debbie Dunlevy, College Tech Prep Program Director and Coordinator Co-Chair of the Tech Wars competition. “We are very excited to host such a fun and educational event.”

The Tech Wars competition, which may become open to school districts outside the GLOW region in the future, was inspired from a similar competition currently held through Niagara County Community College. That event is now in its twelfth year and attracts as many as 600 students from Western New York to compete.

“Ultimately, the interest of some students may go beyond the classroom where they develop such a deep interest in technology that they make a career of it. Someday those students may come back as a teacher or mentor of the technology students of the future,” Dunlevy said.

College Tech Prep helps students explore various career options and make a smooth transition from high school to college and ultimately to professional careers. The Tech Wars is among several dynamic programs giving students the opportunity to work in hands-on learning encounters, often within business settings and with various professionals. College Tech Prep offers several distinctive career academies to high school students including: Heath, Legal, Information Technology, and the newest Theatre Arts Academy starting in September 2009. In addition, there is also a Virtual Enterprise Business program available to high school students.

For more information, please contact Debbie Dunlevy, College Tech Prep Program Director at Genesee Community College, at 585-343-0055 x6316 or More information can also be found at the Tech Wars website,

Editor’s Note: Several photos from the 2008 Tech Wars competition are available by going to the following Internet addresses:
Photo caption: Alexander Central School students from left to right work on their Mystery Project:
Dan Ognibene, Sean McClellan, Tim Meyer and Eric Helenbrook.
Photo caption: Oakfield-Alabama student Richard Strieff tests his boom-a-level project for strength and durability.
Photo caption: Batavia Middle School students prepare to fire catapults. Pictured left to right are: Dylan Scroger, Adam Weaver, Nick Lord, and Justin Baiocco.