Top technology education students from Waxahachie High School are preparing to attend the 50th annual National Technology Students Association conference in Grapevine, Texas, from June 21-25.

They will join about 4,000 other conference attendees from across the nation who will gather at the Gaylord Texan to participate in national level skill competitions, special interest sessions, general sessions and the national officer candidate campaigns and elections. The culminating event will be an awards ceremony that will afford the top three finalists in each category of competitive events the opportunity to receive national recognition.

“The national conference is the highlight of the school year for students enrolled in technology education courses, providing high school and middle school students with the unique opportunity to compete on the state and national level in more than 60 competitive events,” said TSA chapter advisor, Maria Craig, who teaches principals of information technology at Waxahachie Ninth Grade Academy.

The students will compete in events such as Technology Bowl and photographic technology.

In the Technology Bowl event, teams of three members complete a written, objective test in order to qualify for the oral question/response, head-to-head team competition. The head-to-head competition is based on a game show-type environment where teams use buzzers to signal they know the answer to the question. This year’s team is captained by Payton Dillinger with members of the team consisting of Yousef Muwaquet and Daniel Erickson. They received the highest combined score on the written test in Texas TSA State Contest history in the process of qualifying for nationals this year.

Christina Olney will represent Waxahachie High in photographic technology this year with her second place finish in the May 5-6 event in Waco. Photographic technology consists of capturing images and processing photographic and digital prints that depict the current year’s published theme. Twelve qualifying semifinalists participate in an on-site event in which they capture digital images and utilize multimedia software to prepare a storyboard/outline and media presentation of newsworthy TSA conference activities and events.

TSA is an 180,000-member association of middle school and high school students who are or have been enrolled in technology education courses. Its goal is to promote technological leadership and personal growth through student participation in challenging technological competitions that include problem-solving, decision-making and critical thinking skills as they relate to communications, power, energy, transportation, engineering, manufacturing and construction. There are more than 1800 TSA chapters in 48 states and the District of Columbia.