The 2018-2019 school year brought with it a large share of new opportunities and experiences. Joining Heritage High School’s TSA (Technology Student Association) chapter as a sponsor continues to highlight this school year with moments of personal and professional growth. In the fall, I attended the Florida TSA Leadership LEAP Training and Competition. Students attended sit in seminars, participated in problem solving competitions, bonded with their chapter members in a haunted house, and competed against each other in the annual Aligon Bowl. In the following months after the Leadership Conference, students at Heritage High School came together after the school day to develop, build, construct, and explain a variety of projects aimed at developing skills necessary for leading in a technical world. February 27th through March 2nd, those students put their skills and products on display against over 1800 other students from Florida.
One of the events at the competition and conference was the Vex Robotics Competition. Students were required to build and pilot their robots to be used in the competition. Students earned points in the competition by flipping the coins, knocking down the flag targets, placing balls back on flipped coins, and maneuvering to the top platform before the end of their two minutes.
The newest competition in the event is the Drone Piloting competition. Students must construct a drone that fits the specifications of the competition. Students then pilot that drone through a tent of obstacles to earn points. Points in the first portion of the competition are earned by piloting the drone around a target and returning to the launchpad within a time limitation. The second portion of the competition asked pilots to use a claw attached to their drone to pick up targets, fly them to a specified location, drop them in the specified location, and then return to the launch pad. Other competitions varied from fashion design (students competed to develop the best example of a cosplay costume) to bio-technical design (students identified and created solutions for issues surrounding the maintenance of Earth’s oceans) to a dragster competition (students designed and constructed their own Carbon Dioxide powered dragsters).
Dragsters move down the 66 foot track in less than one second.
My first year with the Heritage High School TSA chapter has been full of rewarding experiences. Assisting students develop their projects and watching their display in competition provided me the ability to continue developing my leadership skills and knowledge of the technological world. Students used digital tools along with their collaborative and leadership skills to brainstorm, develop, and produce their projects honing skills necessary to compete in the digital age’s job market. Our success in the State Competition has earned a place at the 2019 National TSA Conference in Washington D.C. I look forward to assisting the Heritage High School students in furthering the development of their projects and competing at the national level. Until then, congratulations to the finalists and medal places from Heritage High School, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your growing chapter.