TSA Competition encourages local students' professionalism, tech skills

Brandon Paykamian • Nov 26, 2019 at 8:04 PM

Faculty advisers from high schools across Northeast Tennessee brought innovative students together to put their technical skills to the test at Tuesday’s Upper East Tennessee Technology Student Association Competition. 

The annual event, held at the National Guard Armory in Gray, brought teams from David Crockett, Daniel Boone, Hampton, West Greene, North Greene, Cherokee, Unicoi County and Tennessee High School. 

“This competition gives students a chance to showcase their talents in various STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities and competitions. The challenges of competing in the events prepare them for real-world situations and problems that they will face in the future,” Mark Bowles, a TSA adviser from West Greene High School, said. 

Students competed in challenges centered on construction, engineering, architectural design, video game design, robotics, C02 dragster demonstrations and more.

One of the event’s highlights was the robotics competition, in which students from each school put their designs to the test against each other.

While the schools’ teams were competing, Tennessee High senior Kendal Brooks said the event was also a good way to learn more about robotics and engineering for future competitions. 

“It’s pretty awesome. It’s a good social gathering event, too — just seeing how everybody thinks about engineering and about designing,” the 17-year-old student said. “Different ideas come together and many people get to learn about all kinds of stuff.”

Guy McAmis, a TSA adviser from David Crockett, said students learn more than just technical and career skills when they prepare for regional competitions leading up to the TSA State Competition in April. McAmis said they also learn how to stay focused and organized as they prepare for each challenge. 

“What I see coming out of this right here is a lot of our engineers, a lot of our business people, a lot of different things,” he said. “It gives them an opportunity to compete in something besides sports.

“On each one of these competitions, there are about 10 or 12 sheets on how they have to do it,” he continued. “So it makes them organized, it makes them put it together and it makes them become more professional.”

For more information on other TSA competitions, visit www.tsaweb.org. 

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