New technology organization growing at Hillsboro High

by Adam Driggers

A new organization has found a home at Hillsboro High School.

Technology Student Association (TSA) was initiated by Creigh Bell and Matt Carroll, technology instructors at HHS.

TSA is a national association for students interested in technology. It provides opportunities for students to compete at state and national levels in several different areas.

TSA has about 150,000 members in about 1,500 chapters across the United States.

TSA also represents educators, parents, and business leaders who believe in the need for a technologically literate society.

The Hillsboro chapter of TSA has already attracted around 20 students even though it’s just beginning.

“For just starting out, we have a good turnout,” Bell said. “We also have a great deal of interest in leadership positions-that’s the neatest thing. Right now, we have at least three students signed up for each leadership position.”

The first activity the organization sponsored was a problem-solving event for prospective members. For the activity, participants were given limited materials and had to complete the problem in a predetermined time.

In this case, the problem was to see how far the students could propel a ping-pong ball.

TSA member Alex Blecha participated in the activity .

“I felt that it was good idea because it really showed how creative you can be,” Blecha said. “You had just a little bit of materials. We were given a mouse trap, rubber bands, pieces of paper, and other assorted materials, and with that we were able to hit the ceiling of the tech lab with the ball.”

Blecha, like most TSA members, joined the organization because of his interest in other areas of technology. He sees this organization as a way to pursue his interests.

“I like working with computers, and now the school has a club that is in my interest area,” he said.

Matt Carroll said TSA offers a variety of benefits.

“Students learn problem-solving skills, teamwork and leadership by being an officer and standing up in front of their peers talking,” he said. “They learn organization and a sense of pride in what they are doing.”

Both teachers were involved in TECHA, a similar organization at the college level. They will use their past experiences in advising the Hillsboro TSA students.

“The organization is student driven,” Bell said. “We are advisers, but as we were dwelt with in college, the adviser will sit back and ask, ‘What do you want out of this?'”

Both advisers said they will call upon past experiences as they begin to plan activities for next year.

“We’re going to do some service projects and fund-raisers,” Carroll said. “We will probably do a Toys-for-Tots activity around Christmas-we’ll use what we have in the woods lab to make toys for kids in the community.”

Added Bell: “This year we want to take our elected officials and go to the state convention and spend a day and a half there. We’ll pick out a few competitions that we want to see since there is no way we could see all of them

“One of the aspects that stands out about TSA is the variety of competitions they provide.”

Students and parents gathered in the HHS technology department March 11 as part of a kick-off barbecue. Carroll used the opportunity to explain what the organization is about. The group also elected next year’s officers.

Bell is excited at the prospect of getting students involved with TSA and looks forward to the coming years.

“I think we are going to learn more as we get more involved with this organization,” he said.

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