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School Scene

Winter, 2012 

January, 2012 - Vol 6, Issue 1
In This Issue
National TSA Advisor Appreciation Week
Running for National Office, by Pratyusha Gupta, National TSA President
Fundraising for ACS, by Austin Vest, National TSA Vice President
Updated Middle School Events, by Ashlee Shryock, National TSA Secretary
CTE Month - March, 2012
2012 National TSA Conference, by Chip Bollendonk, National TSA Treasurer
Robotics, by Marie Sabillo, National TSA Reporter
Gaduating Seniors, by Jason Dreyzehner, National TSA Sergeant-at-Arms
Customized Senior Class Rings
2012 State TSA Conferences
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View our videos on YouTube

Virginia TSA chapters experience the importance of STEM in US Navy aeronautic support 

By   Tim Axley, chapter advisor, Ocean Lakes High School and Lynda Haitz, National TSA Communications Manager



The Tidewater, Virginia regional TSA Fall Rally took on a whole new appearance in 2011. Students and parents from several Tidewater area school districts toured the Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

              According to,

the mission of the NAS Oceana is to support the Navy's Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Force of Strike-Fighter Aircraft & Joint/Inter-Agency Operations. Naval Air Station Oceana was commissioned August 17, 1943. Then, the area now known as Oceana, was a swampy wasteland. Today it is a complex with more than seven miles of runways and the latest equipment to serve military air traffic. It is manned by more than 14,600 military personnel, 2,000 civilians and is home to 19 fighter/attack squadrons flying the Navy's most advanced aircraft. In the years since World War II, it has taken its place in the list of essential installations and is rightly considered a "Master Jet Base."

              After a brief introduction by the Tidewater TSA Regional President, Kelsey Waggoner, the students were greeted and escorted for a tour by NAS Oceana senior enlisted member, Command Master Chief Bill Smalts. Master Chief Smalts told the students, "Obtaining STEM related jobs in the military is not an easy task. It is imperative to maintain good grades and plan now for a technological future in the military." Ocean Lakes TSA chapter advisor, Tim Axley worked with Virginia TSA state advisor, Lynn Basham and NAS Oceana's School Liaison Officer, John Hammer to make the trip a reality.   "We've had held traditional leadership fall rallies and regional competitions, Mr. Axley said. We wanted to offer a different context for experiencing STEM careers."

               Their first stop was the CNATTU (Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit). Nearly 60 students and chaperones where divided into smaller groups during the tour of the training buildings. All participants were able to sit in a cockpit simulator where they learned about the plane's instrument panel. Mr. Axely said, "The MASTER CAUTION button on the cockpit console seemed to be a big draw."

                 Everyone was able to ask questions and watch demonstrations  by Navy enlisted personnel and officers. The groups then moved out to the hangar where they actually got to put their hands on a genuine F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet, take photos and ask more questions. "The tour guides told the students they need to immerse themselves in STEM related classes. They also discussed a lot of technology related systems in a way the students could understand. I can assure you CMC Smalts, and our cockpit systems subject matter experts made it clear that technology education is important to their success if they choose to serve our country," Mr. Axley said.                                                                              

                The second stop was the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower. Groups of ten toured the ATC, and some of the students actually were able to watch F/A-18 Super Hornets take off and other flights land from the control tower and the observation deck.

                After spending time in the ATC the tour headed to Strike Fighter Squadron One Zero Six where a LT (Lieutenant) took the group through the hanger letting the students actually touch the jet engine, 20mm guns, landing gear, refueling pods, tail hook, and basically all parts of the aircraft. The group proceeded out on the flight line where they got to watch a pilot do his walk around, climb into the cockpit and start the jet. They also observed the ground crews directing the pilot and performing last minute checks.


         "I'm retired Navy and I have a degree in aeronautics. For me, the best thing about the whole day was knowing our students were exposed to the greatest Navy in the world, the best trained and most professional sailors in the fleet and NAS Oceana was willing to allow us to visit their home and show us their technology. You could see the pride in sailor's faces as they talked to the students. Many of them are not much older than the students and they share a passion for STEM. Every tour guide and presenter at NAS Oceana stressed how learning STEM in high school could prepare you for a STEM career in the military. Participating in the hands-on aspect of TSA contributes greatly to this goal. The students couldn't stop talking about the experience," said Mr. Axley.

National TSA Advisor Appreciation Week

March 5 - 9, 2012

Plan now to let your TSA chapter and state advisor know how much you appreciate their effort and time in making your TSA experience the best!
 for ideas on showing your advisor how much he/she is appreciated.

National Officer Candidates

By Pratyusha Gupta

National TSA President


Serving as a national TSA officer means more than standing on a stage and conducting general sessions. While many see the election as the toughest part of holding an office, it is truly only the beginning. Once elected, individuals must work throughout the year to deliver on their campaign promises to create a better TSA for all of the members. If you want to run for national office, be sure you will have the necessary time, passion and dedication.


For those considering running for a national office, the National Officer Candidacy program began on January 3, 2012. Interested individuals should contact Mrs. Patterson, Program Manager, to request the application materials. Candidates must complete a written application and receive approval from their parents, chapter and state advisor and school principal. Once they have been officially named a candidate, individuals begin crafting their speeches and campaign materials. The speech is easily the most important part of any campaign and individuals are encouraged to spend the majority of their time creating an eloquent speech which clearly defines their platform and describes their experience.


While attending the national TSA conference, candidates spend three days campaigning, convincing the membership that they are the best candidates to hold their office. Beginning with the Conference Kick-Off, it is essential that candidates present a clear and concise message to the delegation. During the opening general session, candidates must answer a TSA related question with a 30-second response. This will be the first appearance that the candidates have in front of the entire membership, so they must try their best to make a good impression! During the day candidates will be at their campaign booths that afternoon talking with members.  At the second general session, candidates deliver their speeches on stage. Many states hold delegation meetings in the evenings and deliberate on the candidates, preparing their voting delegates for the next day.


On the fourth day of the conference, the annual business meeting takes place. During this time, the voting delegates cast their votes for the national TSA officers. After the votes are tabulated, the national TSA officer team for the upcoming year is established. Candidates may relax that evening, excitedly anticipating the results announced at the closing ceremony.


Understanding the campaign process is essential for any prospective candidate or concerned TSA member. It is important to realize how much time and effort a candidate must pour into their campaign. Fancy campaign materials are not as important as a passionate, heartfelt speech, successful interaction with members at your campaign booth, and having a good stage presence.


When choosing your national officer team for the upcoming year, it is most vital to choose individuals who have demonstrated leadership success and a strong plan for the future of TSA. With this remarkable combination, voting delegates can be sure that they are placing their organization in the hands of a capable leader.


Raising Money for TSA's National Service Project
By Austin Vest,  National TSA Vice President


There are many ways to support national organizations. Fundraising doesn't have to involve hard work and it is nearly always satisfying and enjoyable. Whether you are able to help as a volunteer or raise funds, your participation makes a real difference.

TSA is a proud partner with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and supports the TSA/ACS Spirit of Service Awards program. The money raised supports the education and research efforts of the ACS. To help your chapter be successful in its fundraising for this program, it's important to set a fundraising monetary goal and determine the steps you will take to reach that goal. Here are some quick, easy and fun ideas that will help you reach your goal.


- Use only paper money for one month. Keep all of your change in a separate piggy bank or container. At the end of the month, donate your coins to the ACS.

- Talk with your school principal about TSA's national service project and the ways your school can help raise funds. Suggest setting up a healthy snack sale by purchasing granola bars, energy bars or bagged snacks in bulk from your local dollar or discount grocery store.

-Do you and your TSA chapter members have clothing in your closet that no longer fit or suit your taste? Ask your parents to register with a consignment store and have them sell the clothes for you. Donate the money earned to the ACS.

-  Create a fundraising webpage for your family and friends.


You can find more fundraising ideas and the form to use for reporting your chapter's fundraising efforts at

Middle School Competitive Event Updates

By Ashlee Shryock, National TSA Secretary

Every two years the specifics of middle and high school events are updated, keeping the competitions dynamic. New events are also introduced at this time.


Here is overview of the new and updated middle school events: 


* Communication Challenge

Participants design and produce 1) a trifold brochure that promotes the chapter 2) an effective sponsor support request on chapter letterhead, and 3) an 8" x 11" glossy, two-sided postcard promoting TSA's current national service project. Semifinalists are asked to work creatively under constraints in designing a solution to a problem given on site. 


* Community Service Video 

Participants create and submit a finished video that highlights their chapter's involvement with the American Cancer Society (ACS) over the course of a school year.


* Essays on Technology 

Participants conduct research in specified subtopics of a broader technological area and, using the knowledge and resources gained through that research, write a comprehensive essay on the one (1) subtopic that is designated on site. 

The topic for the 2012 conference is The Impacts of Ever-Changing Technology on Schools, with these subtopics: 



World Wide Web 

Classroom technology 


* Multimedia Production 

Participants use their creative skills to develop an animation that focuses on the current year's theme.   The theme for 2012 is "My School's Dress Code: Do's and Don'ts." 


* Promotional Design 

Participants create and produce a color pin design that is appropriate for trading at the national TSA conference.      


* Technical Design 

Participants demonstrate their ability to use the technical design process to solve an engineering design problem. 


* Transportation Systems 

Participants apply and document the engineering design process, mathematical principles and scientific concepts used in the research, design, construction, testing and evaluation of a rubber band-powered boat. Performance ratings of the boat will be based on a combination of speed and payload capability measurements. 

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month

March, 2012


Founded in 1926, the Association for Career and Technical Education is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Each year in March, ACTE promotes Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month with student contests, CTSO events, a social media advocacy day and much more. Promote TSA locally as a Career and Technical Student Organization by planning your own CTE Month events using the resources found on the ACTE web page, Share your CTE Month activities with national TSA. Please email Lynda Haitz.


The Upcoming National TSA Conference

By Chip Bollendonk, National TSA Treasurer

Fall leadership conferences, regional and state competitions, fundraising... If you've already been busy with these events, you're probably beginning to think about the next big event of the TSA year... The national TSA conference in Nashville, TN! The 34th Annual National Conference will be held from June 21-25, 2012 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. We are anticipating an incredible event this year, and I'm excited to tell you a bit about it!


Perhaps the most important part of the national TSA conference is the competitions. Be sure to read all the competition regulations for your events carefully to do the best you can at the national conference.


Something else to look forward to is the location itself; Nashville, "Music City USA", is an eclectic city with lots to see and do. I vividly remember my trip to Nashville for the 2007 TSA conference, and I'm excited to revisit the same site this summer. The hotel itself is amazing: 9 acres of indoor gardens, rivers, and waterfalls, nightly water shows, vast meeting spaces, a variety of restaurants, and thousands of luxurious rooms. Budding architects and engineers will be in awe at the massive atriums and intricate waterways all enclosed in a single building. If that wasn't enough, nearby the hotel is the famous Grand Ole Opry, home to frequent concerts with the biggest names in country music. Also, the giant Opryland Mall is a short distance away offering a unique shopping experience. Of course, downtown Nashville offers attractions in itself, including Music Row and classic riverboat cruises. Whether you explore the city or stay in the hotel, the site of this conference is sure to impress! Visit for links to local attractions.


I look forward to the competitions and the conference venue; however, I'm even more enthused about seeing nearly 5,000 TSA members from across the nation, coming together with common interests. Whether you've attended a previous conference or not, the national TSA conference is a perfect chance to compete and collaborate with students from across the country. One of my favorite events at the conference is the Conference Kickoff, where members can trade pins, make new friends, and meet candidates running for national office.


It is still a few months away, but it is never too early to prepare for the upcoming national TSA conference! Stay tuned for the latest updates at or by liking our Facebook page (




By Marie Sabillo, National TSA Reporter  

Technology's advancement is quite impressive. In the realm of communication, our technological world has evolved from feather pens and paper to electronic mailing. Another example of technological progress is new research and design in robot construction.


As a TSA member, Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology (BEST) Robotics, and SkillsUSA member, I have been exposed to the wonderful world of robots. My interest in robotics has taken me to many robotics competitions, where the competitive environment reminds me of an exciting sporting event. I've witnessed the hard-work that determined individuals put into creating robotic machines and I've seen how each robot is uniquely designed to fit a specific task.


Robots are not boring or nerdy. No matter the location or the occasion, if a robot is present -- it will amaze you. If you have never worked with robots before or seen a robotics competition, I encourage you get involved. Check out TSA's VEX Robotics program. It's easy to register and participate in this program and the results are enormous. Visit and prepare to be amazed!


Class of 2012

By Jason Dreyzehner, National TSA Sergeant-at-Arms


As the senior year flies by for TSA's class of 2012, we should take a moment to reflect on the positive influences TSA has had on our lives. We've formed new friendships, developed professional skills, explored new subjects, and been introduced to new careers and hobbies.


As this year comes to a close we will have to say goodbye to our graduating class of 2012. While these members will no longer be joining us as competitors at TSA state and national conferences and events, we're excited to welcome the class of 2012 to join our recently reorganized and quickly growing National TSA Alumni Association ( This association supports and promotes TSA activities and technology education on local, state and national levels.


Members of our dedicated alumni support TSA chapters as judges and volunteers, and soon it will be time for graduating seniors to get involved. As many of us will be attending college or pursing opportunities elsewhere, we should remember how our time in TSA has shaped us. With college applications, job interviews, classes, and a variety of other activities, we will be busy. However, let's remember the alumni who came before us and consider joining the National TSA Alumni Association to volunteer for activities and events.



National TSA Logo Available for Senior Class Rings

Graduating seniors are able to capture fond memories of TSA with the design of their class ring! The TSA logo is available as a custom design element with two of the nation's largest high school class ring manufacturers: Balfour and Jostens. For schools that purchase rings from Balfour, purchasers should reference FOC (Freedom of Choice) activity # 180. Jostens offers a TSA "Design-A-Side" panel for class rings. Both designs include the national TSA logo.

An electronic national TSA logo file is available via, under "SPECIFIC USES OF THE NAME AND EMBLEM." To obtain another type of logo file, please contact Lynda Haitz at


2012 National TSA State  Conference  

Most state delegations hold annual conferences prior to the national TSA conference. Preparation by chapters and states is already underway for state TSA conferences, some taking place as early as February, 2012. State conference participants not only get the chance to compete and advance to the national level, they also get to meet other TSA members from across the state. The program of contests and awards at state conferences usually follows the pattern of those of the national TSA conference, but there is plenty of room for innovation. Some state conferences are one-day events, while others may last two or three days. Conference activities might include one or more leadership sessions, keynote speakers, workshops and general state delegation business sessions.  Visit for a complete list of dates and locations.


The Technology Student Association fosters personal growth, leadership, and opportunities in technology, innovation, design, and engineering. Members apply and integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics concepts through co-curricular activities, competitive events, and related programs.
School Scene (ISSN 1066-341X) is published three times a year by the Technology Student Association, 1914 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1540. Telephone: 703-860-9000; Fax: 703-758-4852. Web site:
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