Students show off technical skills

Most people don’t know what goes on when they flick the light switch, but 15-year-old Jona Kurluku sure does.

Kurluku, a student at Ozone Park’s High School for Construction Trades, Engineering & Architecture (C.T.E.A.), emerged as the grand prize winner at the first annual Construction Trades Competition on June 19.

After eight months of studying, students were given the chance to showcase their newly-acquired skills and knowledge among their peers and family members.

Kurluku showed off an electrical circuit consisting of three lights that could be controlled with two switches, a ground fault circuit interrupter, an electrical device designed to safeguard against electrical shocks, and a duplex receptacle into which a plug may be inserted. His grand prize consisted of a $125 American Express gift card and a $50 Home Depot gift card.

Percy Tejeda, also 15, was recognized as the Interpretation of Electrical Diagrams winner.

Faculty members Angel Texidor, Nicole Bertran, Ed Hawkins and Tonya Adison judged the participating students’ ability to follow a blueprint and code specifications, as well as their capacity to clearly explain how they completed their project and how it worked.

Beyond the physical accomplishment of building competitive projects, Texidor hopes his students “develop[ed] confidence in themselves and in their construction skills” from participating in the event. He expressed his desire “for all students to walk away with pride and accomplishment.”

The students competed in the presence of supportive parents and siblings, who were invited to attend a family luncheon to celebrate the successful event.

Located in Ozone Park, District 27, C.T.E.A. prepares students for college, technical school and apprenticeships in the construction trade. In addition to core subjects such as English, History, Math, Science and Technology, C.T.E.A. offers a specialized education in architecture, engineering, survey/design and art/computer and engineering design. They are proud partners with the New York City Construction and Trade Community.

The first freshman class was admitted in 2006 and is scheduled to graduate this year.

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