GPS Sophomore Team Wins SWENext State Competition

McKamey Bratcher ’23, Evelyn Lytle ’23, and Morgan Summerlin ’23, place first in ninth- and 10th-grade division
In the spring, members of the GPS Society of Women Engineers - Next Generation (SWENext) club participated in the annual Test of Engineering Aptitude in Math and Science. Known as TEAMS, this competition challenges middle school and high school students to work collaboratively to solve real-world engineering challenges, applying their math and science knowledge in practical, creative ways.

The TEAMS competition includes three components:

Essay | Teams research and write an in-depth essay submitted electronically prior to their competition day.
Multiple Choice | Teams use math and science skills to solve real-world engineering challenges.
Design/Build | Teams design and build a solution to an engineering challenge.

“The theme of this year’s competition was Engineering Solutions During a Pandemic, and three groups from GPS entered—two in the 11th- and 12th-grade division and one in the ninth- and 10th-grade division,” said Bryant Haynes, GPS SWENext leader. “We recently received word about our results in the event, and are pleased to announce our sophomore team placed first in Tennessee!”

The GPS sophomore team, composed of McKamey Bratcher ’23, Evelyn Lytle ’23, and Morgan Summerlin ’23, had a winning score of 150.71 across all three components of the competition.

In the design and build portion, in which the team also placed first, the challenge was to create a remote delivery device that could transfer a textile into a designated package. Materials for the challenge included standard household items such as paper towels, rulers, scotch tape, clothespins, binder clips, rubber bands, and hangers. Teams were given 2 hours and 10 minutes to complete the challenge.

Haynes was proud of all three teams for tackling challenges that require critical job-readiness skills such as collaboration, analytical thinking, and multidimensional problem-solving with ease. 

SWENext is led by Mr. Haynes, math teacher Diane Walker, and Tracie Marlin Durham ’80, science teacher and STEM coordinator.