Jones College students win gold medals at National SkillsUSA

Jones College students win gold medals at National SkillsUSA

JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Three Jones College students competing in the National SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Kentucky won first place with gold medals.

The three students, C.J. Hoodless, Lakelin Smith and Preston Hammonds, along with their instructors, Karen Kirk and Ryan Hearn, participated in the civil engineering technology event.

Two of the students are majoring in CAD-engineering technology and one is a double major, CAD-engineering technology and mechanical engineering. They designed a unique item as part of the SkillsUSA state competition requirements in January for a category introduced in 2018, Engineering Design and Technology. Jones students won the first year at the state competition with the invention of a manual trash-compactor for the garbage can. That team landed in seventh place nationally, in 2018.

At the State SkillsUSA competition in April, the 2019 team has kept the winning streak alive by capturing first place in the Engineering Design and Technology category.

As avid musicians, this year’s team was inspired to create a guitar strap and stand, and they proved once again, Jones students are the team to beat in this newly introduced competition category.

They spent much time preparing for this competition to come up with something anyone could relate to and appreciate. The students said their instructors prepared them for this type of competition.

The guitar strap/stand is made of three-inch wide by four-inch squares, printed on a 3D printer and linked together to a piece of nylon and leather strap bindings to attach to the guitar. To switch from a strap to a stand, an aluminum rod is inserted through the squares and is attached to the base stand, which was also made from the 3D printer. The squares can be customized with logos and colors. The links on the strap can be removed or more can be added. Their invention also had to pass inspection with industry leaders.

At the state competition, besides winning first place, the team also had to have 70% or above of the judges’ scores to attend nationals. This year’s team performed very well, receiving almost 80% at the state competition.

At the National competition, the three-man team scored in the 90.5. They competed against six teams with students from Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

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