Over 680 students in first through eighth grade were chosen to participate on their school’s Keyboarding Challenge team and compete in the 4th Annual Keyboarding Challenge. This year’s event took place at 13 elementary schools and 4 middle schools during May 2019. Teams were made up of select group of the top 10 typists and 2 alternates at each grade level per school. Teams competed in one of three divisions where they had an opportunity to win $6,000 in technology for their school.
Shelby County’s Technology Department began the contest in 2016 in order to revive student interest in building strong keyboarding skills. Participation in the Challenge is voluntary.
“Again this year we have seen growing excitement from students on the team, and their teachers are so proud of the high level of commitment and performance,” said Angela Clark, District Technology Program Specialist who coordinates the contest each year.
Quade Davis, a fifth-grader from Oak Mountain Intermediate School shared how his strategy includes practicing during after-school care and bringing his own keyboard from home. Davis typed the highest average words per minute among all fifth-grade students who completed the competition.
For the second year in a row, the Division I winning team involved two schools. The Helena Elementary 1st and 2nd-grade teams combined with the 3rd-grade team from Helena Intermediate together achieved the highest average with 20.17 AWPM. Oak Mountain Intermediate School’s 4th and 5th-graders won in Division II with 43.88 AWPM. The Division III winner was Chelsea Middle School with 60.72 AWPM.
Laura Junkin, Assistant Principal at Oak Mountain Intermediate School said, “We appreciate this competition because it gives those students who aren’t normally recognized a chance to really shine.” The OMIS team sets a ‘Word Per Minute’ speed goal and works diligently toward it all year. That effort has paid off for these 4th and 5th graders as they have won the competition for the 4th year in a row in Division II.
The fastest typists in each grade across the district were rewarded with a prize and certificate. A special thank you to the Shelby County Education Foundation for their generosity in providing prizes for the students. The Foundation also gave each of the 690 participants a stretch band bracelet to recognize their effort this year.
Those students were: 8th-Grade – Chau Nguyen, Oak Mountain Middle – 112.5 AWPM. Nguyen was the fastest typist of all participants.
7th-Grade – Julius Lappalainen, Oak Mountain Middle – 78 AWPM
6th-Grade – Thomas Washer, Helena Middle – 74.5 AWPM
5th-Grade – Quade Davis, Oak Mountain Intermediate – 73 AWPM
4th-Grade – Brandon Shin, Mt. Laurel Elementary – 68.5 AWPM and Cardin Nguyen, Oak Mountain Intermediate – 68.5 AWPM
3rd-Grade – Keaden Sims, Chelsea Park Elementary – 43.5 AWPM
2nd-Grade – Emily McKinney, Vincent Elementary – 27.5 AWPM
1st-Grade – Desmond Reynolds, Vincent Elementary – 27 AWPM