MURRAY, Ky. — More than 125 students from high schools around west Kentucky competed in TechMania on Thursday, March 29, at WK&T Technology Park in Mayfield. Murray State University and West Kentucky Community and Technical College sponsored the competition that encouraged students to consider information technology as a career.
“TechMania provided opportunities for high school and middle school students to work with IT equipment in a team competition format with the goal to encourage students to explore real world experiences in networking, programming and cybersecurity,” said Michael Ramage, director of the Center for Telecommunications Systems Management at Murray State.
The students were separated into groups of five according to their skill levels and were required to complete several tasks related to building and securing a network. The groups were provided mentors who assisted with and answered any questions that arose throughout the day. The mentors consisted of Murray State telecommunications systems management faculty and staff as well as industry professionals from the following organizations: Computer Services, Inc.; Kalleo Technologies; Peel & Holland Insurance; Mercy Health; Connected Nation; Systems Solutions, Inc.; Sprocket; Community Financial Services Bank; the Technology Council of West Kentucky; and West Kentucky Community and Technical College. In total, more than 25 mentors were present at TechMania.
A number of local companies also donated equipment and funding for the competition, including Computer Services, Inc.; Systems Solutions, Inc.; Veolia Nuclear Solutions; the Rural Technology Fund; Forrest Brook Technologies; DEVsource; Graves County Schools; and Paducah Economic Development.
The schools in attendance each registered up to 20 students to attend TechMania. The participating schools included McCracken, Graves, Marshall, Hickman, Fulton and Carlisle counties as well as Paducah Tilghman, St. Mary, Fulton City, Mayfield and Murray.
The winning TechMania team included the following students: Aaron Gough, McCracken County High School; Dalton Dycus, McCracken County High School; Marianna Karanja, Murray High School; Michael McVicker, Paducah Tilghman High School; and Ramsey Collins, St. Mary High School.
The telecommunications systems management program is the award-winning Program of Distinction at Murray State University. The program provides degree tracks in cybersecurity, wireless communications and network and systems administration. Telecommunications systems management is designed to focus on network infrastructure in the rapidly growing technology industry. It is an interdisciplinary program that provides students a solid foundation in information systems technologies and the application of those technologies in a business environment.
For more information about the Center for Telecommunications Systems Management at Murray State, please visit murraystate.edu/tsm.