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East Chapel Hill HS Students Compete at NC TSA Conference

The 2021 North Carolina Technology Student Association (TSA) Conference took place in a virtual format from April 25-28, and 21 students from East Chapel Hill High School (ECHHS) competed in 19 events. Three students placed in their events: Ethan Taylor with a first place in CAD 2D Architectural, Hanqi Xiao with a second place in Prepared Presentation and both Nayoung Kim and Taylor earned a third place in Architectural Design. Not bad for a statewide competition!

TSA winner Ethan TaylorTaylor said, “Competing in TSA has provided me valuable enrichment in the field I’m most passionate about and plan to major in: architecture. From being exposed to real-world design problems to having the opportunity to be mentored by an award-winning architect, joining TSA as a freshman was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I could not be more prepared and excited to follow in the footsteps of my mentor and become a licensed architect.”

TSA is the state and national Career and Technical Education (CTE) student organization for technology education students, or those engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Open to students enrolled in, or who have completed, technology education courses, TSA’s membership includes more than 250,000 middle and high school students across the United States. 

Patrick Pudlo is one of the CTE Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Engineering teachers at ECHHS. “TSA conference competitive events are closely tied to PLTW Engineering classroom activities, and they tightly reinforce national, state and district CTE curriculum for high school PLTW Engineering classes. Students gain valuable professional skills (resume writing, parliamentary procedure, documentation, organization, etc.) as they participate in conference business meetings and competitive event leadership interviews.”

TSA winner HanqiTSA is supported by educators, parents, and business leaders who believe in the need for a technologically literate society. Members learn through exciting competitive events, leadership opportunities, and much more. A wide range of activities makes TSA a positive experience for every student.  All TSA activities are correlated to the Standards for Technological Literacy, as set forth by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA).

On the morning of Friday, April 23, students logged on for the first round of tests. Saturday brought the semi-final round of tests, and on Sunday and Monday, finalists participated in interviews -- a strenuous and rigorous process to make it to the top awards.

By Monday afternoon, the stress of competing was tempered by the Conference-presented sessions for TSA members like “Leading Your Chapter,” “Social Media for Your Chapter,” “Online Circuit Development” and more entertainment oriented sessions like “21st Century Escape Room” and “Simulated Basketball Broadcast.”

“I was inspired by the resilience of all our students who found a way to successfully compete in this new and challenging virtual environment,” Pudlo said. “In particular I was thrilled to see Ethan, who is also one of our chapter officers, and Hanqi be rewarded for the hard work, persistence, and dedication they have shown to our TSA organization and to their TSA projects over their time in high school. Like many students who participate,TSA has helped them both grow and learn while pursuing their interests and passions.”