April 05, 2013 12:00AM
Kyle Wittman has participated in a variety of technology-related competitions as a student at Lawrence High School.
“We travel across the state and even out of the state to compete in technology contests,” Wittman, a junior at LHS, said. “We go all over the place.”
So, when he and his fellow schoolmates visited Pittsburg State University Friday for the annual Gorilla Games competition, Wittman thought he knew what to expect.
“This turned out to be much more than anything we’ve seen,” he said. “Of all of the competitions we’ve been to, this is definitely toward or at the top of the list. It’s impressive.”
Wittman was one of approximately 200 students from 14 area high schools who participated in Gorilla Games, an all-day technology competition at PSU’s Kansas Technology Center. Students took part in a variety of tech-related competitions ranging from structural testing and quiz bowl to dragsters and robotics.
“Gorilla Games gives high school students the chance to come in and showcase their talents and abilities in the field of technology,” said Eric Gudde, technology teacher at Frontenac High School who helps coordinate the event. “It is a competition, but it’s also a lot of fun.”
Mike Neden, associate professor in PSU’s Technology and Workforce Learning program, said the event also gives many of the high school students their first look at PSU and the KTC.
“It’s always nice having a large group of students on campus, especially when it’s for an event that’s fun and interactive,” Neden said. “We have a lot to offer at the KTC in the field of technology, and this event opens a lot of students’ eyes to those possibilities.”
Joely Gath, a junior at Southeast High School, said she enjoyed getting to compete at Gorilla Games and having the chance to again see the KTC.
“We’ve been here before for other competitions, but it’s always cool walking around the building and seeing what all is here,” she said. “It’s also cool to have an event like this that recognizes the students in technology, kind of like how games recognize students who play sports.”
Along with the competitions, demonstrations and events also took place throughout the event. Topics covered included, among others, electronic gaming, construction simulation, sawmill demonstration and antique tractors.
“I think that is what makes this event different than others,” Jack Clark, a junior at Lawrence High School, said. “I can’t think of another competition that we attend that has the events and demonstrations. So, it’s pretty cool to have something to do and see when you’re not competing.”