HHS only TSA team from Kansas to score at nationals

This TSA team represented Hillsboro High School at the national conference June 26 to July 1 in Washington, D.C. Pictured in front of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center are: (from left) Matthew Denholm, Carson Herbel, Erich Herbel and Creigh Bell, adviser.Hillsboro High School?s Technology Student Association chapter was the only chapter from Kansas to receive a trophy at the National TSA Con?fer?ence, June 26 to July 1 in Wash?ing?ton, D.C.

Three competitors from the Hillsboro chapter?Erich Herbel, Carson Herbel and Matthew Den?holm?qualified by state and local standards to attend the national conference by competing and placing at the Kansas TSA conference earlier this year.

Creigh Bell, TSA adviser, accompanied them.

Both Erich Herbel and Carson Herbel competed in the Structural Engineering event in which contestants try to build the strongest structure possible in two hours and 30 minutes.

They placed second in the event and were the only chapter out of the 15 Kansas chapters in attendance to take home a trophy from the conference.

Erich Herbel also competed in Dragster Design, finishing about 37th out of 155 competitors.

Denholm and Erich Herbel both competed in Flight Endurance and both finished in the top half of the group of competitors. Herbel flew a best time of 1 minute, 26 seconds. Matthew flew a best time of 1:02.

Denholm also competed in the VEX robotics competition, Vex Toss Up. The competition as a whole was comprised of two tournaments, according to Bell.

The first tournament was a skills challenge, in which each team had three tries to score as many points as possible in 60 seconds.

In the high school division, Denholm finished 24th out of 57 competitors in programming skills challenge and 28th out of 75 in driver control skills.

The second tournament was a single-elimination tournament. Two teams were put on the field and tried to outscore the other. The team with the most points moved on, while the losing team was eliminated.

After an extremely competitive match, Denholm?s robot, Syphra, was eliminated in the second round.

This was the largest conference in TSA history, with a record-breaking 6,800 people in attendance, according to Bell. About 4,800 of the attenders were TSA competitors, also a new record.

Also announced at the conference was the number of TSA members from the U.S. and Germany, setting yet another record of 213,000 members.

Several outside sponsors contributed financially to make the trip possible.

Bell said the local chapter is grateful to: Luke Lindsay with Countryside Feed, LLC; Becky Walsh with State Farm Insurance; Lyman Adams with Coop?erative Grain & Supply; Marvin Funk with the Evening Lions Club and Robert Sextro.

The purpose of TSA is to help promote the education of STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. For more information about TSA visit tsaweb.org.

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