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Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES Hosts HERO Rodeo

In May, Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES played host to the Heavy Equipment Repair and Operation (HERO) Rodeo. The HERO Rodeo invited nearly 200 students from six different regional BOCES programs to Auburn, where they competed in a variety of contests using heavy equipment. This was the fifth consecutive year that BOCES hosted the event, which welcomed upwards of 500 onlookers to the 2018 competition.
kids watching competition
A captivated audience (of all ages) watched the HERO students compete in rodeo competition

The competition itself tests HERO students with a variety of dexterity exercises. Think it’s tough to sink a bucket when playing basketball competitively? Try doing it with thousands of pounds of heavy equipment instead of hands! Students used backhoes, excavators, and skid steers, and more to compete across nine different events. 
payloader basketball
In the payloader basketball competition, students took control of a loader to pick up a basketball, before moving it a set distance and attempting to deposit it into a bucket.
egg pick
In the egg pick competition, students used a backhoe with a standard spoon attached to the end of the bucket to pick up and egg and transport it a set distance without dropping (and breaking) it.

Other challenges required operators to stack pipes, move tractor tires, and more. The common theme that’s woven between all of these contests: precision operation. For some of these challenges, these hulking metal machines become extensions of the operators themselves as they try to manipulate something as fragile and delicate as an egg.

Students and staff from Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES’ Culinary Arts program catered the event, doing what they do best and feeding hundreds of eager onlookers as the day’s competition marched onward.

culinary arts students and staff prepare lunch

In other, BOCES-specific news, future students will have the opportunity to practice this precision operation on a new machine, as the school recently acquired a new John Deere 444K payloader. While visiting the BOCES to go over the features of the new equipment, a representative from John Deere took the time to meet with each one of the students to talk shop.

Moreover, the representative discussed the John Deere Apprenticeship Program, which affords students with a high school degree (or equivalent) the chance to intern with the company, where they’ll learn to troubleshoot, service, repair, and rebuild John Deere equipment. After earning their associate’s degree, students will then transition into employment with the company, putting years of training to work as they begin their career.
precision operation in action student operates heavy equipment during competition





Brian K. Hartwell, Ed.D.
District Superintendent of Schools

1879 West Genesee Street Rd.
Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 253-0361

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