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April 14, 2010 > StRUT technology competition

StRUT technology competition

Submitted By Hector Albizo

On March 29, Ohlone College hosted the Silicon Valley Students for Recycling Used Technology (SVStRUT) competition for local high school students from the greater Bay Area. SVStRUT founded by Intel Corporation, is a program sponsored by Ohlone College's Regional Cisco Network Academy where students take donated computers and networking equipment and upgrade them for use in schools.

Students learn to evaluate, repair and refurbish computer equipment and in turn donate it to local schools, keeping them out of landfills while gaining valuable business and technological skills. Students also assist in placing these computers in schools throughout the state in order to supplement those purchased by local school districts. The program also helps give students the skills and confidence they will need to compete in the "high tech" industry, and understand the responsibility and importance of recycling and reclamation.

This is an annual all day event attended by a number of high schools from around the Bay Area, designed to challenge students' hands-on skills as well as their knowledge and critical thinking skills. Each school can submit as many as four teams consisting of three members each. Both American and Irvington High Schools from Fremont were well represented at this event.

The competition has four main components. The first is, computer disassembly and buildup which tests the team's ability to problem solve; the mechanics and process used; diagnostics and teamwork, and build time. The second event is the presentation event. This event challenges the team's ability to critically organize and present their findings to the judges, on the preceding computer disassembly and assembly event experience, in a logical and organized manner. The scoring was based on the ability to communicate content and knowledge, organization, use of visual aids (PowerPoint), delivery and teamwork.

The third event consisted of a virtual networking challenge where students attempt to find a networking problem using various network troubleshooting techniques. And the fourth component consisted of 50 questions, based on A+ industry certification standards. The test was scored individually and also averaged as a team score.

There was also an additional challenge thrown in called "Quiz Bowl," whereby schools were allowed to select any four students from their teams and once again challenged to answer a series of questions in rapid fire succession for additional prizes.

It was obvious students thoroughly enjoyed themselves throughout the competition. There were also more female students involved this year than in previous years. The event proved to be successful and even more so for Irvington High School which took first place. Each team member won a laptop computer and the school is also entitled to keep the SVStRUT winner's banner for the year.

In this event, all students are considered winners. The knowledge and skills they learn today will equip them with the necessary abilities needed in an ever competitive 21st Century.

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