Tech Wars Returns to GCC

Middle and High School Students to Battle in 8th annual Competition

Batavia, New York - An exciting, hands-on learning opportunity returns to Genesee Community College on Thursday, March 12, 2015 as the College’s ACE (Accelerated College Enrollment) Program hosts the 8th annual Tech Wars for students in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming Counties) region. 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. 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.

Students participate in a variety of challenges, generally in groups of two or more. Some of the competition involves bringing to campus projects they’ve been working on. New this year will be the High School Regatta Challenge taking place in GCC’s swimming pool where teams will launch their boats, which were designed and constructed from corrugated plastic sheeting and duct tape. Each crew must navigate through an obstacle course with scoring based on the number obstacles cleared in a five minute period. A special “Titanic Award” will recognize the best sinking ship, and all captains must go down with their boat!

“Each year, organizers try to introduce a new design, technology or problem solving challenge and this year we are definitely covering some new ground – or rather water,” Debbie Dunlevy, GCC Career Pathways director said with a smile. “Tech Wars helps 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.”

As in year’s past, students will also be challenged to create a power-producing sculpture that utilizes renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal or hydro-electric. The sculpture is meant to be a functional piece of art, both utilitarian and aesthetically appealing. Other competitions involve working and drawing using CAD (Computer Assisted Drafting) software. A robotic tractor pull, CO2 truck designs and ever-popular sumo robots, are some of the fun, challenging and photogenic aspects of the annual Tech Wars.

Organizers are anticipating more than 650 students from 18 schools this year. The Tech War website, provides complete information.

Graham Corporation and Amada Tool America, both from Batavia, and Northeast Industrial Technologies of Lima are the Gold Level ($500+) sponsors this year. Other sponsors include Maple Moon Farms of Varysburg, the Lions Club, and Lee Schuknecht & Sons. “The support of these businesses is essential to putting on this event,” said Dunlevy. “We thank them for investing in what could be 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 or visit the Tech Wars website at

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