A student shows another student her project, a coding game, at the STLP State Championships

Students with the Girls Who Code program at Franklin County High School show off their game, “Stamping Out Stigma,” during the 2024 STLP State Championships. Photo by Joe Ragusa, Kentucky Department of Education, March 27, 2024

(LEXINGTON, KY) – A record-breaking crowd attended Kentucky’s Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) State Championship on March 27.

Nearly 21,000 students, educators, volunteers, community members and parents gathered at the Central Bank Center in Lexington to watch students from across the state showcase their knowledge.

Each year, students representing schools from all corners of Kentucky demonstrate what they can do with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics). Students take part in STLP competition areas – including robotics, coding, web design and newscasting – uniting bright minds from diverse backgrounds and communities.

“I am incredibly proud of the Kentucky STLP students who competed in this year’s state championship,” said Interim Commissioner of Education Robin Fields Kinney. “I also want to thank the many educators who take time out of their schedules to sponsor the clubs and work with these students throughout the school year.”

With the help of about 400 volunteers and judges, students from 558 schools in 119 districts participated in the day’s events. Throughout the day, judges identified 81 final projects, and students competed until the final four were named state champions in elementary, middle, high school and technical categories.

“Through STLP, students learn the qualities and skill sets aligned with United We Learn, such as how to collaborate, problem-solve and innovate. These are the skills that will help prepare them for success in our globally interconnected world,” said Kinney.

David Couch speaks with a group of students

KDE Associate Commissioner David Couch speaks with students from John M. Stumbo Elementary School (Floyd County) about their project on vaping during the 2024 STLP State Championship. Photo by Joe Ragusa, Kentucky Department of Education, March 27, 2024

This year’s event also marked an important milestone for David Couch, who has overseen STLP as the associate commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology, as he has announced his retirement.

The four state champions selected are:

  • K-5 Division Best STLP Project in Kentucky: “Spanish Outreach,” Bowen Elementary School (Jefferson County) (STLP Coach: Kelley Radke)
  • 6-8 Division Best STLP Project in Kentucky: “Digital Window,” Fallsburg Elementary School (Lawrence County) (STLP Coach: Craig McDavid)
  • 9-12 Division Best STLP Project in Kentucky: “Sensory Scriptors: Crafting Braille for 3D Precision,” Bourbon County High School (STLP Coach: Wesley Tipton, Chief Information Officer)
  • Dave Sigler Award for Best Technical STLP Project: “3Cs (Creative Community Communications System), Crittenden County High School (STLP Coach: Marlee Lanham)

This state championship marked the 30th year of STLP in Kentucky. The students who earned a state championship title will attend the International Society for Technology and Education Conference in Denver this June.