On Feb. 16, three teams—two comprised of juniors and seniors (an A and a B team) and one of freshmen and sophomores—competed in the Regional competition for TEAMS, an engineering contest, at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Out of the 32 teams that competed in the state of Texas, one of the junior/senior teams won Best in the State of Texas and the other junior/senior team won sixth place overall. Both teams qualified for the National Competition that will take place from June 21-24 in Orlando.
According to junior Kaleigh Beacham, who participated in the Regional tournament and will compete on the Hockaday team at Nationals in Orlando in June, TEAMS focuses on science and engineering for high school students.
“TEAMS stands for Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science. It is a completion that Hockaday goes to every year,” Beacham said. “There are a couple of events that you do at the event to give the score.”
Elizabeth Guo, Hockaday TEAMS Captain and a junior who has competed at TEAMS since her freshman year, described the competition’s three stages in relation to their strengths for the Hockday team.
“Before the competition you have to write an essay with your team that follows the prompt. This year it was about renewable energy resources,” Guo said. “Then we get to the competition and we do two parts. One is a multiple choice test that is eighty questions. After that, there is a design-build portion. This year, we had to build a mechanic arm that could hold and drop a water bottle.”
Leon de Oliviera, an Upper School science teacher and the faculty sponsor for the TEAMS competition, believes that the best part of the Hockaday team is the written portion.
“We do really well in the writing, as we always do,” de Oliviera said. “I think even in the robotic competition that has a writing component, we always do really well on the writing components.”
In fact, the writing score pushed the A team over the edge to receive Best in Texas. Out of a perfect score of 80, the team received 78 points, which tied with the top scoring team in Arizona for the highest score of all 50 states and one International division. Even with their strength in writing, the team still relied on the engineering and multiple choice parts to allow their success.
“They also do really well on the engineering portions because the girls are really creative,” de Oliviera said. “They come up innovative solutions that they can put together fairly quickly. One of their strengths is their creativity in engineering.”
Beacham emphasized the teamwork element within the competition.
“My favorite part is always the design component because it is always fun to work in a team and see how everyone contributes to the team dynamic,” Beacham said. “And then we normally have an awesome product.”
As the TEAMS team looks forward to Nationals, Beacham hopes to do well in the competition, especially in the fourth event that is added specifically for Nationals.
“I am most excited for the presentation part, which is another component that is added in for the National competition,” Beacham said. “We have a research topic and we prepare a spoken presentation on it. I am most excited to do that.”
Even though Guo will not attend the National competition due to prior commitments, she still looks forward to the results and hopes to continue with TEAMS during her senior year as she finds it valuable for her future.
“My favorite part of TEAMS is really working together as a team to solve the problems or do the design portion,” Guo said. “You do things that you didn’t think were possible or you thought that you couldn’t do.”
Katie O’Meara – News Editor