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Frazier students bring home top honors

| Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ron Miller and Lance Lyons are getting used to bringing home first-place ribbons from the Pennsylvania State Computer Fair.

Lyons, an eighth-grade student in the Frazier School District, won first place in the multimedia category with his project "Green Power: Saving Our Planet." He is the son of Barry and Lisa Lyons of Perryopolis.

Miller, also an eighth-grade student at Frazier, placed first in the Web page design category with his project "Coal Mining in Southwest PA." He is the son of Ron and Kim Miller of Dawson.

Lyons designed and created an informational multimedia presentation around the topic of global warming. Included in the project are a variety of resources, games, and reviews aimed at educating and entertaining viewers.

Miller designed and built an animated Web page to include videos, maps, picture galleries, and background information regarding various types of coal, the history of coal mining, and the technology of coal mining.

The boys were among 200 students competing at the Pennsylvania State Middle School Computer Fair in Harrisburg.

The fair is sponsored annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Berks County Intermediate Unit.

Students from across Pennsylvania, in grades sixth through eighth, qualified to participate in the state-level fair by winning first in their school district and then in an intermediate unit competition. More than 750 students participated in the competition at some level.

The categories for competition included desktop publishing, multimedia, graphic design, digital movie, logo design, and Web page design. Projects were scored using rubrics developed to assess skills in each area. Judges included staff from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, participating intermediate units, local colleges, and technology businesses.

Frazier computer teacher James Natale said Lyons and Miller teamed up to win the multimedia category as sixth-graders and last year Lyons and Scott Benning teamed up to take home first place in the same category. Last year Miller took home first place in design.

"All of the years I've competed I've taken first, but this is the first year that I competed with a project I did myself," Lyons said.

Lyons said Natale's after-school computer club taught him about visual basic programming, which he used to make the different aspects of his presentation.

"He does very well each year, but I didn't want to say I knew he would bring home first place," said Kim Miller of her son, Ron. "I have no idea where he gets his talent in technology from but it's something he's very interested in."

Ron Miller hopes to have a career in computers and technology. He's already started realizing that dream by teaching adult computer classes.

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