High-schoolers go head-to-head at ISU's Tech TREK competition

October 30 2006

Indy businessman, creator of 'bent pencil' to emcee at Technology Bowl

More than 500 high school students from Indiana and Illinois will compete in teams at the 11th annual Tech TREK (Technology, Resources, Education, Knowledge) competition, hosted by ISU's College of Technology, on Nov. 2.

Thomas W. Killion, president and owner of Indianapolis-based Bentcil Co., maker of the "bent pencil," will be a special guest at Indiana State University's Tech TREK competition for high school students, and serve as the emcee for the event's Jeopardy-style Technology Bowl.

During this math- and science-based, hands-on competition, high school teams of three to five students will go head-to-head in up to 14 different team events -- such as Crash Test Dummies, where students create an apparatus that will withstand an impact without breaking a fragile object contained inside; or Junk Yard Genius, where students, utilizing nothing but trash and junk, construct an object that meets certain requirements and performs a task of destruction.

Killion, who earned his B.S. in Industrial Arts (1970) and his M.S. in Industrial Arts Education (1976) from ISU, will be returning to his alma mater to encourage students to pursue careers in these important fields. Originally from Reelsville, Killion was honored by ISU last year with the College of Technology's 2005 Technology Innovation/Entrepreneur Award.

An Industrial Arts teacher at Ben Davis High School from 1970-1979, Killion left teaching to pursue his "bent pencil" idea. Today, the Bentcil Co. markets intricate and creative products for the specialty advertising business worldwide. His company employs more than 100 people and markets pencils and pens through major catalog distributors. Among his customers is Disney Corp., which is approximately 23 percent of the Bentcil business.

Tech TREK is designed to promote problem-solving, teamwork, communication, curriculum integration, and technological literacy. The event attracts an average of 23 Indiana and Illinois high schools each year, from an approximate radius of 185 miles. This year, 531 students are registered to attend. ISU technology students assist in developing and facilitating the activities. Competitive events are from 9:15-11:15 a.m. in the College of Technology Laboratories. The Technology Bowl Play-Off is from 12-1 p.m. in Tilson Auditorium, Tirey Hall. To find out more, go to: http://www.indstate.edu/tss/techtrek06.

COMPETITIVE EVENTS:
9:15-11:15 a.m., College of Technology Laboratories, ISU
(101 N. Sixth St. and John T. Myers Technology Center)

PHOTO/VIDEO OPP:
9:45-11 a.m., best time for photos

TECHNOLOGY BOWL PLAY-OFF:
12-1 p.m., Tilson Auditorium, Tirey Hall, ISU 16 teams compete on stage to take home the Golden Bowl traveling trophy. Cash awards for schools taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

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Photo: A publication-quality, high-resolution photo is available at:
Killion

Contact: Bev Bitzegaio, Indiana State University College of Technology, (812) 237-3575, bitz@indstate.edu; Office located in the Myers Technology Center, 215

Writer: Katie Spanuello, media relations assistant director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3790 or kspanuello@isugw.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

More than 500 high school students from Indiana and Illinois will compete at the 11th annual Tech TREK competition, hosted by ISU's College of Technology, on Nov. 2. Thomas W. Killion, president and owner of Indianapolis-based Bentcil Co., maker of the "bent pencil," will serve as the emcee for the event's Jeopardy-style Technology Bowl.

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