DACC sending 40-plus to BPA Nationals


The Delaware Area Career Center will send dozens of students to compete in the Business Professionals of America’s (BPA) National Leadership Conference next month.

The DACC announced earlier this month that 43 of its students had qualified for competitions at the BPA’s National Conference in Anaheim, California, and noted that’s the new record for how many of their students qualified for nationals.

One of the students heading to California is Christian Aufderheide, a senior in the DACC’s Digital Design program. Aufderheide took first place at nationals last year in the 3D modeling competition and is part of a team competing in the 3D animation category this year.

Aufderheide said working with a team in a different competition has been a different experience.

“I’m normally a one-man band,” Aufderheide said. His team consists of fellow Digital Design students Caleb Baker, a senior from Olentangy High School; Jack Steele, a senior from Olentangy High School; and Nathan Reynolds, a senior from Olentangy Berlin High School.

Aufderheide explained that the competition involves the prompt of inheriting an island with enough resources to survive for a year, and instead of playing the prompt straight, his team decided to give the competition a fun spin. Aufderheide said the protagonist of their project ordered numerous items to survive on the island but instead of using the items, he just made everything out of the cardboard from the boxes the items were shipped in.

“The writing by Caleb and Jack is phenomenal,” Aufderheide said. “It leans a lot in comedy.”

Aufderheide said the team got first place at regionals and third in the state, and he thinks the lower position at state was because some of the jokes didn’t land with the judges.

“I truly think we are going to get first place or we’re not going to get anything,” laughed Aufderheide. “It leans so much on comedy. I’d be nervous if I had to do the presentation (but Caleb and Jack do). I’m always nervous leading up to it, but during the presentation, I’m fine.”

Grace Gabriel, an Olentangy Liberty High School senior in the Digital Design program, is traveling to the conference to compete in a User Experience (UX) Design competition. Gabriel explained that her team had to create an amusement park and then make a website and app for the amusement park.

Gabriel said she enjoyed creating all the designs but was nervous about presenting them.

“(Designing) was really easy for me because I love doing all that, the part that was hard for me was the presenting part,” Gabriel said. “We’d practice our presentation every week and change it little by little. I got more confident, and I can do the presentation whenever now.”

Gabriel and her team got first at the state competition in Columbus earlier this month, and she’s looking forward to the trip to California.

“I’m nervous, but I think my project is really well executed,” Gabriel said. “(We have) a lot of interactive elements. I show them how I made all the stuff on the website. It makes the judges feel more immersed in it. I’m looking forward to presenting and going to the awards. I hope we get first. I can’t wait. I’m really anxious.”

After graduating this May, Aufderheide said he plans to apply for as many jobs as possible, and Gabriel said she plans to attend the Modern College of Design to study UX design.

The national conference will be held in Anaheim from April 26-30.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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