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Grant Moore is one of 18 Decatur High School students to qualify for the National Technology Students Association national conference in Nashville.
Daily photo by Bayne Hughes
Grant Moore is one of 18 Decatur High School students to qualify for the National Technology Students Association national conference in Nashville.

Decatur High dominates
state tech competition

By Bayne Hughes · 340-2432

Decatur High School senior Grant Moore considers himself a “gadget guy.”

He loves technology, and Decatur High’s Technology Students Association chapter gives him a chance to display his talents.

Moore is an example of how skilled Decatur High students are at using technology. DHS won the state TSA competition, easily out-distancing the competition, which included 470 students from 11 high schools.

Decatur had 22 students compete, and 18 qualified for the Technology Students Association national conference in June in Nashville. This is Decatur High’s 21st state title, and the school won 53 percent of the trophies.

Moore qualified for the national competition with first-place finishes in transportation modeling and 3D
computer-aided design, and a third-place finish in dragster design.

He particularly enjoyed the transportation modeling competition. This year’s challenge was to build a “muscle car of the future” using popular muscle cars of the 1960s and ’70s as inspiration.

Using the Camaro, Challenger, Charger and Mustang as examples, Moore first made a hand drawing of his car. He then used wire to build a model of the vehicle. He said this allowed him to make measurements he could easily enter into a computer, which produced 3D drawings and directed a micro router to cut the model car out of balsa.

The model is aerodynamic, but a carbon dioxide canister holder on its back hurts its drag coefficiency. The model had to fit in a 20-inch-long box, but Moore made his as small as possible to get the drag coefficiency under the required numbers.

“Most of the students made their cars much bigger, but we found a way to make it smaller to meet the rules. We also figured out how to make it hollow to decrease the weight even more,” said Paul Allen, Decatur High TSA sponsor.

Decatur High is one of the few education programs in the state with a 3D printer, which Moore used to make custom wheels.

Allen said Moore got a lot out of the program while preparing and experimenting to get his car ready for the competition.

“The things he’s learned will translate well at the next level,” Allen said. “The only difference in wood and metal is the material.”

  • In related news, Tori Hall of Decatur High won first place in flight endurance and a chance to defend her national title. The Alabama TSA elected Decatur High student Timmy Wannamcher as the 2007-08 state reporter.


    Decatur High students earning the right to compete at the National TSA conference:

    Computer-Aided Design 2D Architectural — First: Blake Lankford; second: Nathan Roche.

    Computer-Aided Design 3D Engineering — First: Grant Moore; second: Nathan Roche.

    Cyberspace Pursuit — First: Blake Lankford, Nathan Roche, Travis Letson and Robert Mort.

    Desktop publishing — First: Timmy Wannamacher; second: Tom Heeth.

    Dragster design — First: Jack Marks; second: Jams Sterrett; and third: Grant Moore.

    Extemporaneous speech — Second: Blake Lankford; third: Ethan Towns; and fourth: Travis Letson.

    Film technologies — Third: Amanda Allen, Robert Mort, Tori Hall and Blake Lankford.

    Flight endurance — First: Tori Hall; second: Jesse Williams; third: Kyle Williams.

    Imaging technologies — Second: Edurado Bello; third: Tori Hall; and fourth: Kyle Williams.

    Prepared speech — Third: Tom Heeth.

    Safety illustration — First: Kyle Williams; fourth: Tom Heeth.

    Scientific Visualization — First: Travis Letson; second: Nathan Roche.

    State pin design — First: Nick Spence; second: Kyle Williams.

    Structural engineering — First: Ethan Towns and Everett Kirby; second: Edurado Bell and Tori Hall; and third: Justin McNutt and Sergio Samano.

    Technology Bowl — Third: Sergio Samano, Anthony Split-Log and Jesse Williams.

    Technology problem solving — First: Robert Mort and Travis Letson; and second: James Sterrett and Everett Kirby.

    Technical research and report writing — First: Christina Becerra; third: Anthony Split-Log; and fourth: Tom Heeth.

    Transportation Modeling — Grant Moore.

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