Mercer County ‘Kraken Krew’ wins second annual Culineering Challenge

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Office of Career Exploration and Student Engagement is pleased to announce the winner of the Second Annual Culineering Challenge. The Kraken Krew from the Mercer County Technical Education Center (MCTEC) was named grand champion during the awards presentation at the Mountwest Culinary Arts Center in Huntington. MCTEC win was a part of an exhilarating nautical competition that showcased the unique applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as well as culinary and hospitality skills.

Each team consisted of two culinary students, two engineering students and one social media influencer who worked together to design and build an aquatic robotic vessel that they navigated through a pool obstacle course at the Marshall University Aquatic Center. While in the water, teams delivered desserts to a panel of judges. The social media influencer documented the team’s progress over various platforms. The Tasty Gearheads from Doddridge County High School won second place, and the Baker Bots from Marion County Technical Center earned third place.

Participating teams included:

School NameTeam NameCountySocial Media
Doddridge County High SchoolTasty GearheadsDoddridgeFacebook:
TheTasty Gearheads
Hundred High SchoolHornet BuzzWetzelFacebook:
Hornet Buzz
Huntington High SchoolHuntington High ProStartCabellFacebook:
Huntington High ProStart
James Rumsey Technical InstituteJRTI STEAM TeamBerkeleyFacebook:
Marion County Technical CenterMarion Baker BotsMarionFacebook:
Marion Baker Bots
Mason County Technical CenterMason County Career CenterMasonFacebook:
Mason County Career Center
Mercer County Technical Education CenterMCTECMercerFacebook:
X (Twitter):
Shady Spring High SchoolRaleigh County RoboticsRaleighInstagram:
X (Twitter):
Wyoming County Technical CenterWCCTCWyomingFacebook:

Awards included $5,000 for the grand champion team; $3,000 for second place, and $2,000 for third place. Additionally, each student on the grand champion team received $200 provided by the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association and Education Foundation.

The 2023 Culineering Challenge Grand Champion team is The Kraken Krew from Mercer County Technical Education Center. Pictured from left to right: Donald Pendergrass, Mike Stennett, Allison Turner, Berry Jones, Joseph Hill, Ashlynn Jones and Ariel Price.

Related stories

Give us your feedback