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    SkillsUSA team heads to nationals after gold medal performance at state

    The Lamar State College Port Arthur Software Developer and Game Design Program is stepping onto the national stage after winning gold at the recent SkillsUSA state competition.

    Madison Blanton of Nederland and Kaeden Jenkins of Port Arthur teamed up to win gold medals in the Interactive Application and Video Game Design competition at the Texas SkillsUSA meet held earlier in April in Waco, Texas.

    With that first-place victory, Blanton and Jenkins advance to the June 24-28 SkillsUSA 55th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

    Greyson Fortner of Beaumont and Lee Thomas of Port Arthur teamed to win the bronze in Web Design at the 2019 state meet. This is the second year LSCPA’s Software Developer and Game Design Program has participated in the SkillsUSA competition. A year ago, Crystal Anderson of Port Neches and Michael Richard of Lumberton brought home silver medals for their work in 3-D Visualization and Animation.

    “From being able to participate and win silver in our first year to winning gold and bronze this year and making it to national stage provides unique opportunity for building our program and getting students more involved,” Sarita V. Medhekar, Coordinator of Software Developer and Game Design at LSCPA. “More students are showing an interest in competing and being a part of our program outside the classroom. This is great for teaching students to work together. This provides unique opportunity to learn things in real-world applications. And, it is very valuable for enhancing their programming skills and experience as they go out in the future to seek careers in this field.”

    Medhekar also served as tutor and trained LSCPA's students for SkillsUSA competition.

    Interactive Application and Video Game Design focuses on creating interactive applications and/or video game design and development as occupational objectives. In the Web Design competition, teams complete a series of challenges focusing on website usability and accessibility, with at least one challenge related to scripting. Teams are also evaluated on the process they use to meet the challenges and how well they work as a team.

    SkillsUSA’s national championships is a showcase of career and technical education students with more than 15,000 people, including students, teachers and business partners, participating in the weeklong event. More than 6,300 outstanding career and technical education students — all state contest winners — will compete hands-on in 103 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies set by industry.