Virginia Richay, a 4th-grader at Field Elementary (Jefferson County) sets up a computer and 3-D printer at the 2016 STLP finals in Lexington. More than 9,000 students will be headed to Lexington March 29 for the 11th annual Student Technology Leadership Program State Championship.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 22, 2016

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – More than 9,000 students, educators and parents will converge on Lexington for the 11th annual Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) State Championship on March 29.

Students from 460 Kentucky schools and 115 districts will show what they know and can do with technology in arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Students will demonstrate many career-ready skills during the event at Rupp Arena and the Lexington Convention Center.            

STLP students create projects, products or services as part of the program and demonstrate their learning by competing in one or more of the 50 event categories, including instructional, technical or community development projects; digital content creation such as digital art, photography, design, programming, app development and robotics; and technical services, like student help desk, network engineering and wireless applications. Students with the best projects, products and services have been invited to compete at the STLP State Championship. 

More than 550 projects will be on display in Heritage Hall, where each team will be striving to be selected as a Best in State winner. Elsewhere, nearly 300 Digital Product finalists will be scored to find the winners for each of 19 different arts and STEM-related categories. There also are 26 on-site live performance categories that challenge students to demonstrate on-demand technology skills, such as coding, game design, robot programming, engineering, podcasting and media arts production.

The event is open to the public between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET so that parents, principals, superintendents, school board members and legislators can see the students exhibit their projects, products and skills that demonstrate the role technology plays in students’ college and career readiness.

Winners in each grade division (K-5, 6-8, and 9-12) in each category will be recognized during the award ceremony at 5 p.m. The ceremony will be broadcast live the KDE Media Portal at Students with the top three Best in State projects will travel to Chicago in June to represent Kentucky at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference/Expo. The Best in State STLP technical projects and winners in all live performance and digital product categories also will be named.

The state championship is almost entirely run by volunteers from across the state; including dozens of students that comprise the STLP Student Service Corps. These students work alongside volunteer professionals to provide media coverage via STLP media outlets, produce a documentary of the day’s events, manage production and live video broadcasts, and provide technical support.

STLP, which is open to all P-12 students, uses project-based learning to empower student learning and achievement through the student creation of technology-based solutions to school and community needs. KDE’s Office of Education Technology sponsors the events to highlight the creative, logical and often entrepreneurial talents of students across the Commonwealth. For more information, go to