Fall 2014

October 2014 - Vol. 8, Issue 3

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In This Issue
Welcome! by Steven Stokes, National TSA President
Submit Your Highlights, by Leigh Anne Hamlin, National TSA Vice President
Stay Connected with TSA Regions, by Laura Wilson, National TSA Secretary
Verizon Innovative App Challenge, by Jay Son, National TSA Treasurer
Competitive Event Changes, by A.C. Williams, National TSA Sergeant-at-Arms
Champion Fund, by Joshua Mathew, National TSA Reporter
Cybersecurity Lab (NOVA Labs)


By Steven Stokes, National TSA President




The 2013-2014 school year was record-breaking for TSA!  TSA had over 216,000 middle and high school student members, hosted its largest national conference ever with 6,800 attendees, and posted more competitors' scores online following the national TSA conference than ever before. Your 2014-2015 national TSA officer team expects to build on this momentum and have another fantastic year!


Since the 36th national TSA conference adjourned on July 1st, the national officer team has been busy.  We met in late July in Reston, Virginia to discuss plans for the upcoming year and develop our program of work. It is an honor for the national TSA officers to represent each of you and we will be working hard this year on your behalf.

TSA chapters across the nation are now in full swing.  The middle school and high school competitive events guides are now available electronically to all affiliated chapters.  Be sure to have your advisor affiliate your chapter quickly so that you can get started on your competitive events for this year.  I also encourage members to take part in TSA's other programs:  TEAMS, Verizon Innovative App Challenge, VEX Robotics, Junior Solar Sprint, and UNITE.

Be sure to have the 2015 national TSA conference on your calendar (June 28th to July 2nd) and start your fundraising to be in Dallas. I encourage you to share your chapter's accomplishments by sending national TSA photos and stories so that fellow TSA members around the country can stay connected to you throughout the year.


Best wishes for a great year! 


Submit Your Highlights

By Leigh Anne Hamlin, National TSA Vice President




Days at the beach, road trips, and movie marathons have come to a close with the end-of- summer. As the new school year gets underway we begin homework, early morning study sessions, and interesting lunchtime conversations.  For TSA members, this also means that we get to resume our days of officer meetings, community service weekends, and time in the technology and engineering lab.  Most of you have already elected your new officer team, as well as recruited several new members.  The fresh new mix of members and leadership knowledge will spark ideas never imagined before in your chapters and states.  Perhaps you will be inspired to try new competitions, or simply focus on those competitions you know and enjoy.  Maybe you will reach out to your community and dedicate your time and energy to giving back.  

Regardless of what your local chapter and state delegation chooses to do, national TSA wants to recognize you and share what you are doing as TSA members and advisors.  Please consider sending in pictures, videos, and stories of your chapter's activities and accomplishments at the local and state level.  Let your fellow members know about your chapter happenings by emailing TSA Project Manager, Megan Honour at mhonour@tsaweb.org.  You could be featured on TSA's website and on TSA's Facebook and Twitter postings.  


Please remember that national TSA is here to help throughout the upcoming school year. 


Stay Connected with TSA Regions

By Laura Wilson, National TSA Secretary




As your national TSA officer team, we are committed to looking for ways to strengthen membership in the states and regions across the country. To accomplish this goal we are reaching out to the state presidents.  We want to communicate with you on a regular basis. Send your questions and suggestions to us. We want to learn how we can help you in your TSA journey. 


To make it easier to connect with each other and stay connected, we have provided each TSA region of the country with a national officer contact.  The listing of states in each region and national officer assignment is listed below. Working together we can create greater communication among all members within a state and state-to-state.


TSA regions and the assigned national officer:


Region 1 (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont): Leigh Anne Hamlin, National TSA Vice President, NationalTSAVicePresident@tsaweb.org.


Region 2 (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee): Josh Mathew, National TSA Reporter, NationalTSAReporter@tsaweb.org.


Region 3 (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin): AC Williams, National TSA Sergeant-at-Arms, NationalTSASergeant-at-Arms@tsaweb.org.


Region 4 (Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota): Laura Wilson, National TSA Secretary, NationalTSASecretary@tsaweb.org.


Region 5 (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming) : Jay Son, National TSA Treasurer, NationalTSATreasurer@tsaweb.org.

We are looking forward to communicating with you and we are looking forward to a great year ahead!



Verizon Innovative App Challenge

By Jay Son, National TSA Treasurer




For the third year, the Verizon Foundation is partnering with TSA to host the 2015 Verizon Innovative App Challenge.  The Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides an outlet for middle and high school students to integrate their knowledge of STEM and creativity to create mobile app concepts that present novel approaches to address needs in their local communities. With an emphasis on teamwork, critical thinking, and ingenuity, small teams work with advisors to design and submit their ideas for mobile app concepts; there is no coding experience needed!


Teams focus their concepts to align with one of the three Verizon Foundation focus areas of Education, Healthcare, and Sustainability.  There are numerous awards and grants at both the state and national levels.  Last year, students from a Texas school were inspired to take a concept centered on an assistive app and build upon it.  "Hello Navi" was the result.  This app helps their blind classmates move from class to class.  These students not only became one of the eight Verizon Innovative App Challenge winners, but also were nationally recognized by the White House and featured in the national news. These App Challenge winners were invited to present their mobile application at the 2014 national TSA conference in Washington, D.C. 


The Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides student teams with a unique opportunity to take their app concept and make it a reality with $20,000 in grants for their school, Samsung Galaxy Tabs, as well as professional training in basic mobile applications.


Now is the time to get started!  Register at verizonfoundation.org/appchallenge.


Submission deadline is November 24, 2014.



Competitive Event Changes

By A.C. Williams, National TSA Sergeant-at-Arms



With the school year in progress, it is time to start considering which competitive events you are tackling this year.  Every two years, TSA releases an updated competitive events guide with changes to themes, specifications, and entire events.  This year, the high school competitive events guide has been updated.


In the new guide, one exciting event redesign deals with what was previously called "Open Source Software Development."  Due to the large influx of amazing coders in TSA, this event will now be centered upon creating your own code, rather than updating others.  A more complete list of competitive event themes and problems can be found here: http://tsaweb.org/Themes-and-Problems


It is important to remember that whether you are a returning member or a first time participant, you must thoroughly read the rules of the competition before you get started on your competition.

So take the time to select those competitive events that spark your interest.  I can't wait to see everyone design their competitive dreams and bring their very best to Dallas for the 2015 national TSA conference! 


Champion Fund

By Joshua Mathew, National TSA Reporter



In spite of the significant membership growth that TSA has experienced in the past few years, the cost of membership affiliation can sometimes be an obstacle for chapters lacking sufficient financial support.  Through the Champion Fund, selected schools are granted funds to cover their membership dues for one school year.  Interested schools are required to submit an application to be reviewed by a selection committee on a first-come, first-served basis.  The application consists of entering school contact information, as well as addressing the following: (1) the current state of TSA at the applicant's school, (2) why the school is eligible for the Champion Fund, and (3) a future plan to be implemented in order to pay for TSA membership fees in subsequent years. Chapters receiving financial support from the Champion Fund are kept anonymous. 


To be eligible to receive funds from the Champion Fund, prospective schools must meet one of the following criteria:


A school with no substantial administrative or community financial support available to cover membership fees that has never sponsored a TSA chapter.


A school with no substantial administrative or community financial support available to cover membership fees that has not sponsored a TSA chapter in the past five years.


A school that may or may not have sponsored a TSA chapter in the past five years experiencing economic hardship due to a natural disaster.


The Champion Fund application and additional information regarding the program can be found by visiting www.tsaweb.org/The-Champion-Fund.


Donations are vital to the continuation of the Champion Fund. Any contribution will help keep the fund replenished and available for chapters in need. Tax-deductible donations can be made by any individual or group at https://www.registermychapter.com/tsa/nat/donations.aspx.


Any further inquiries can be addressed by contacting Suzy Orr at sorr@tsaweb.org or calling toll-free at 1-888-860-9010.




Cybersecurity Lab (NOVA Labs)






NOVA Labs, a free digital learning platform from the producers of the PBS science series, is excited to announce the launch of the Cybersecurity Lab. The Cybersecurity Lab is a game designed to teach people how to keep their digital lives safe, spot cyber scams, learn the basics of coding, and defend against cyber attacks. Players assume the role of chief technology officer of a start-up social network company that is the target of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. In the game, players must complete challenges to strengthen their cyber defenses and thwart their attackers. The lab also features stories of real-world cyber attacks, a glossary of cyber terms, and short animated videos that explain the need for cybersecurity; privacy versus security; cryptography (cyber codes); and what exactly hackers are.

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: www.tsaweb.org.
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