York Suburban students compete in the Technology Student Association State Conference

Sophomore Emma Ehrlich's two-in-one chair
Sophomore Emma Ehrlich’s two-in-one chair

By Mia Parkes

On April 19th, 19 students are traveling to Seven Springs Resort for the Technology Student Association State Conference.

Technology Student Association, or TSA, is a school club that allows students to participate in many different technological fields. Mr. Shearer, the Tech Ed teacher, explains it best.

“TSA is a national competitive student organization for students that are interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. It also incorporates art, design, leadership, all sorts of things.”

Students have the opportunity to go to states when they qualify at regionals, the first competition. Students who place first, second, and third in their events are guaranteed to go to states, but there’s a chance some other students may qualify without placing. While 19 students are going to states this year, many more qualified. 

The state competition is an opportunity for students to show off how they improved old projects or created new ones. Students who place at states then move on to nationals. TSA president Alex Heisey had a positive experience at states last year.

“It was really fun, there [were] a lot of people. It was cool to see all the projects that people created.”

Alex is competing at states again this year, and so is sophomore Neil Oestereich. Neil expects the competition to be similar since many of the students he competed against last year are also going back.

But not everyone going to states this year has been there before. Emma Ehrlich, another sophomore, is going to states for the first time. They shared that they’re competing in the materials process event. 

“It’s a pretty open-ended event where you can make whatever you want out of any earth material and they’ll judge it for you and your documentation of it.”

Emma is currently making a two-in-one chair. It’s dinner table height, but when flipped upside down, it’s bar height. They were inspired by the egg chairs from the 1970s and adapted them to their own design. 

Another popular event is flight endurance. Neil is competing in this event for the second time and shared how it works.

“I have a plane I have to build to certain specifications. It flies on a rubber band. You fly it around a room in a certain area and then the best time and documentation determines the winner.”

These are not the only events that make up TSA. Mr. Shearer shared that the events cover a wide range of interests.

“TSA has over 60 different events at the middle school and high school levels. The events are all over the place. They range from anything like public speaking, leadership events, to things like engineering, robotics, logo design, photography. So there’s a little bit of everything for everyone.”

TSA is also open to all students, regardless of their current skill levels. Students who don’t know how to use certain equipment are surrounded by experienced members and opportunities to learn. All in all, TSA is a club where students can foster their creativity—and over the next four days, York Suburban students will put that creativity to the test.

I’m Mia Parkes, Trojan News.