By George Slaughter
Two students from Katy ISD’s Miller Career & Technology Center were named national champions in the recent SkillsUSA mechatronics (mechanical and electrical engineering) competition.
Daniel White and Levend Karayaka competed at various levels of mechatronics competitions during the school year and for part of the summer. They won first place at the regional level, and second at the state level.
Getting to the national competition was made more challenging when the White and Karayaka were tasked with assigned to show a design solution virtually from the Miller Center manufacturing lab. The solution had to adhere to safety protocols for the national competition. The students were presented a task that required an automated system setup.
“The Katy ISD SkillsUSA chapter is a fairly new group of students who came together during the 2019-2020 school year,” Dallas Bergstrom, Miller Center manufacturing engineering instructor, said in a news release. “In total we have 45 students who are part of the group, many of which qualified at various competitions throughout the year. I am so proud of their willingness to try something new. To earn a national championship on their first attempt speaks to their commitment to representing MCTC and Katy ISD.”
Thousands of students competed in over 100 occupational and leadership skill areas at the annual event. Among the activities were educational sessions and interaction with business, industry and government representatives.
SkillsUSA, which is driven by industry demand, helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. Its goal is to empower students to succeed at work and in life while helping to close the skills gap in which millions of industry positions go unfilled.