The Technology Student Association (TSA) at Jersey Shore Area High School hosted the Region 7 Technology Student Association conference on Feb. 15, for their fourth year. There were 23 high school competitions at the event and Jersey Shore high school students placed in 20 of the competitions.
The TSA conference is a leadership in competitive events program that has been around for 40 years. At the conference there were many different competitions for students to enter into.
The competitions can be hands-on, leadership or speech. The event can be compared to Science Olympia, except the TSA students prepare for their competitions in advance. Some competitions that students enter into include: architecture, dragster racing and Web design. Students were able to choose which competitions they wanted to compete in based off of their interests and abilities.
Michael Panczyszyn, left, 11th grade, and Spencer Ross, right, 12th grade, both of Jersey Shore, work on their device for the technical problem solving portion of the day called “Firemouse” during the Technical Student Association conference held recently at Jersey Shore Area High School. Students were required to design a device utilizing the power of a mousetrap to put out the flame of a birthday candle. Students were scored on number of attempts to put out the flame and efficiency of materials used.
"I have some students who don't do any hands-on work, but they do a lot of prepared presentations," said Andrew Baker, Jersey Shore Technology Student Association advisor, "I have some students who can't stand in front of a person and talk, so they are more hands-on during the physical competitions."
Many students prepared for their competitions in the beginning of the school year. Each competition requires different amounts of time to prepare.
"There are very few who have not started after Thanksgiving break," said Baker.
Most of the students have learned the technology skills needed from the technology classes provided at the high school, but some have decided to join the club without taking the classes.
"Not all of my students are in the technology classes. It is open to anyone who wants to try it," said Baker.
The TSA club meets on activity days at the school, but a majority of the work needed for the competitions happens after school.
Many people worked together to make sure that the conference was a success. Parents volunteered their time to work at a food booth and plan the event.
The auto shop instructor cleared out the auto shop area at the high school, so the Army, Navy and Air Force could bring in equipment for a military services display.
"Since we host it, we get to see all the behind the scenes stuff that goes into it," said Michala Alexander TSA club member.
The school also prepared a small musical skit that was performed during the opening ceremony. A flash mob and scavenger hunts were planned to keep people entertained throughout the day.
"We try to make it more enjoyable for the kids and try to entertain them," said Baker.
"We're expecting a lot of fun," said Alexander.
The students who placed at the Region 7 TSA conference will attend the state competition, which will be held April 9 through 12, at the Seven Springs Resort in Champion.
"Everyone that's there (states) has a common purpose. It's nice to be able to talk to people who have similar interests," said Olivia Clark.
Students who place at the state competition will advance to the National Conference, which will be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center, National Harbor, Md.