Technology Student Associationlhead
1914 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191
703/758-4852 fax

School Scene

Spring 2014

April 2014 - Vol 8, Issue 2
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
Follow us on Twitter
View our videos on YouTube

In This Issue
Career Paths, by Sanjay Koduvalli, National TSA President
Moving Forward, by Sri Nimmagadda, National TSA Vice President
Welcome, California TSA, by EB Bollendonk, National TSA Secretary
TSA Programs, by Sai Nimmagadda, National TSA Treasurer
Getting Ready for the National TSA Conference, by Melissa Haslebacher, National TSA Seargeant-at-Arms
National TSA Conference Sessions, by Hughston May, National TSA Reporter

Career Paths

By Sanjay Koduvalli, National TSA President


Competition season is finally in full swing, and TSA members across the country are putting the final touches on their projects. Wooden airplanes are flying and CO2 cars are racing down the track.  What many members don't realize, however, is that while they are preparing themselves for competition, they are also preparing themselves for their future.  Because of TSA's emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), members will easily be able to take their passion for a TSA competition and use it to find a promising career.


In recent years, the media has been promoting STEM in education more than ever before. The next few generations are going to see an increase in demand for workers who have STEM skills and experience.  So what does that mean for TSA members? 


TSA is the premier STEM organization in the nation.  There are parallels between TSA events and fulfilling STEM careers.  For example, if you enjoy Prepared Presentation, then you may be interested in becoming a public speaker.  An interest in Flight Endurance may indicate an interest in aeronautical engineering.  TSA can be the resource that connects you to your future career path.


The next time you are designing the strongest bridge, or editing your video footage, think about the elements of the competition that appeal to you.  You may find that these connections inspire your career choice.  



Moving Forward

By Sri Nimmagadda, National TSA Vice President 


Spring is a time of transition.  As the flowers bloom, the seasons shift from the cold winter to warmer spring days.  Students are also slowly shifting into different phases of their lives.  For many, it is simply a change from one grade to another. For others, such as graduating seniors, it is a change from one lifestyle to another.


Regardless of what phase of your life you are in, it is important to recognize that change is essential.  Not only does it expose you to different perspectives and experiences, but it can also help shape your values.  Ultimately, transitions provide the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned before moving forward.


I've learned a lot from TSA, and I know all of you have, as well.  Whether they were the technical lessons you learned in your competitive events or the life lessons learned about friendship, hard work, and leadership at the conferences, spring is the time to think about how and why TSA has impacted your life.  These reflections on your TSA experiences will make them all the more meaningful. 


For many, another amazing thing about TSA is that it grows up with you, from middle school through high school.  While seniors are wrapping up the competitive chapter of their TSA experience, they can continue to stay involved through the alumni organization, as volunteers, or chapter advisors.  Life goes on, but the values and lessons we've gained through TSA experiences stay with us.    


Welcome, California TSA

By EB Bollendonk, National TSA Secretary


California is the home of Silicon Valley and major businesses such as Apple, Google, Yahoo, Disney, and the majority of the U.S. entertainment industry.  And now California is officially a part of the Technology Student Association. 


At the 2013 national TSA conference in Orlando, Florida, I had the privilege of being elected as your national secretary.  But elections were not all the conference had to offer. 


In addition to the many wonderful aspects of the 2013 conference, we had the privilege of welcoming the newly chartered California TSA delegation to the national conference.  The newly created chapters elected officers and raised funds to achieve their goal of attending the national conference for the first time.  I will never forget the California delegation members' enthusiasm for all that conference had to offer.  Congratulations to the newly formed delegation!


I look forward to welcoming them to the 2014 national TSA conference in National Harbor, in the Washington, D.C., area.   


TSA Programs

By Sai Nimmagadda, National TSA Treasurer


For many TSA members, the basis of the TSA experience revolves around competitions.  Many members may not know that TSA overseas other programs that also promote STEM education. These additional programs provide students, some of whom might not be TSA members, a chance to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a positive environment.


These programs include:


TEAMS:  The Test of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) is an annual academic competition that tests the skills of students in teamwork, analytical thinking, and multi-dimensional problem solving.  TEAMS does so through the application of engineering, math, and science concepts in a one-day test that includes both multiple choice questions and open-ended essay problems. 


UNITE: UNITE is a 4-6 week long pre-collegiate program that helps historically underrepresented or underserved minorities explore the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). UNITE is coordinated by TSA and funded by the US Army Educational Outreach Program.


The Verizon Innovative App Challenge:  The Verizon Innovative App Challenge, coordinated by TSA in conjunction with the Verizon Foundation, helps students explore STEM in the context of app development. In this competition, students develop the framework for an app that addresses a real need or problem in the students' school or community. Here, both high school and middle school teams submit their designs through a three-minute video and an essay.  Winning teams have the chance to win $20,000 for their school to enhance their STEM education program, a Samsung Galaxy Tablet for each team member, a trip to the National TSA conference, and the opportunity to bring their app to the marketplace!


Junior Solar Sprint:  TSA maintains an online resource center that allows educators to promote the Junior Solar Sprint program.  Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) is a program where youth can design, build, and race solar-powered cars using technical expertise.  Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, JSS has been further integrated into the TSA structure and is now an official TSA middle school competitive event.


VEX Robotics:  TSA holds an annual robotics competition in partnership with VEX Robotics. Registered TSA VEX teams can also compete at other nationwide VEX events. TSA's VEX program has competitive events at both the middle school and high school levels and continue to be a popular part of TSA's competitive structure.


As you can see, TSA offers students many ways to get involved in STEM.  Be sure to check out some of these programs to indulge your interests and learn to live in a technical world.



Getting Ready for the National TSA Conference

By Melissa Haslebacher, National TSA Sergeant-at-Arms


As students count down the days until the end of the school year, national TSA counts down the days until the 2014 national TSA conference being held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor in the Washington, D.C., area from June 27th to July 1st. The national TSA staff, the Virginia TSA state team, and the national officer team have been working behind the scenes to make this year's conference a success.   


The 2014 national TSA conference is the venue where you will compete against bright and innovative TSA members from across the country.  It also offers the opportunity to meet new people, share ideas and opinions, and have a great time!


Whether attending the Washington Nationals baseball game, exploring National Harbor with your chapter, spending time with your state delegation, or going to special interest sessions or leadership training, you will never run out of ways to enjoy the conference experience.

Be sure to take advantage of all the national conference has to offer by checking out the 2014 national TSA conference webpage.  Start with the Schedule-at-a-Glance to get an overview of the events so that you can plan a conference experience you will never forget. 

The 2014 national officer team is excited to see everyone at this year's national conference! 

National TSA Conference Sessions

By Hughston May, National TSA Reporter  


As state conferences come to a close, it is time to focus on the upcoming 2014 national TSA conference being held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor in the Washington, D.C., area from June 27th - July 1st.


Plan to attend the Conference Kick-Off on Friday evening, June 27th.  It is a great place to interact with TSA members from all over the county, to see old friends, and to make new ones.   Conference pin exchanges are a highlight of this event.   


Competitions are a highlight of the conference for many TSA members.  When you are not competing, be sure to check out the special interest sessions and leadership training.  There are sessions for every interest so I encourage you to find one (or more) that will motivate you. These opportunities will help you learn and develop valuable skills that will help you when preparing for college and a career.  


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:
Copyright 2008 TSA.