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Local Teen Honored at 2019 Appalachian Highlands “Twenty Under 20” Gala

Lauren Patterson, right, receives her recognition as one of the 2019 Appalachian Highlands Twenty Under 20 class. Sponsored by Streamworks, Twenty Under 20 is designed to bring recognition to
students’ accomplishments and contributions in the region, in science, technology, robotics,
engineering, arts, and math. Streamworks Photo

By Tamas Mondovics
Editor

For the first time in the region, STREAMWORKS, powered by Eastman in Education, presented the 2019 Appalachian Highlands Twenty Under 20 Awards last month, celebrating the accomplishments of twenty individuals who are age 20 and under.
Appalachian Highlands Twenty Under 20 is designed to bring recognition to students’ accomplishments and contributions in the region, in science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts, and math.
Streamworks itself is a new educational program that delivers enhanced opportunities for students (grades K–12) to participate in exciting mentor and project-based programs that focus on science,
technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills and inspire innovation.
The awards ceremony held at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium, 1550 Fort Henry Drive in Kingsport, TN on Friday, April 30, recognized the students for their efforts in demonstrating exemplary achievements in community service, entrepreneurialism, leadership, academics, and STEM activities.
Among the honorees was Johnson County High School sophomore Lauren Patterson, a member of the school’s 63303A robotics team, that took part in the 2019 VEX State Championships in Brentwood, TN and advanced to participate in the VEX High School World Championship.
“It’s an honor to have been selected for the Twenty under 20 award, and particularly humbling when I think of the extensive amount of people that were considered,” Patterson said. “Being recognized for this award will help me stand out among the many deserving candidates as I prepare to apply for college and career areas. I will be able to explore the plentiful areas of STEM leadership further so I can help improve the world we live in today.”
In her application for consideration of this year’s Twenty under 20 Patterson added, “All of my achievements stem out of my desire to become the best person I can be so I can help others. The satisfaction I feel when I help one of my peers, or anyone who I notice is needing brings me great joy as I know that I am truly making a difference in their lives.”
It is just what Streamworks Executive Director Dennis Courtney and his group is looking for.
“We have been scratching our heads for the past couple of years to see how we can highlight what some of our outstanding students are doing in science, arts, and band, so we have decided to spend one evening in April to
celebrate their contribution to the community and what they do for STEM,” Courtney said.
As for the benefits of supporting the students,
Courtney added, “These kids are the future, and it is appropriate to highlight their achievements. These kids don’t get to accomplish great things just on science and math classes alone. The investment is our responsibility.”
Streamworks programs
include FIRST LEGO League; Robot Drone League – RDL; Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE); and MultiGP a STEM competition involving drones for students in grades 8 – 12.
Courtney emphasized that it is a “collective responsibility to ensure future generations’ success by providing them the opportunity and resources to pursue a STEM career.”