Top technology education students from Waxahachie High School are preparing to attend the 29th annual National Technology Student Association conference in Nashville from June 24-28.

They will join about 4,000 other conference attendees from across the nation who will gather at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort to participate in national level skill competitions, special interest sessions, general sessions, and the national officer candidate campaigns and elections.

In addition, this year’s conference will feature the DuPont Leadership Academy, a program for high school and middle school students that will focus on leadership skills and development. The culminating event will be an awards ceremony that will afford the top 10 finalists in each category of competitive events the opportunity to receive national recognition.

There also is a one-day education fair held during the conference at which sponsors of the conference and exhibitors display the latest innovations in technology education.

“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 national level in more than 60 competitive events,” said TSA chapter advisor Jim Brown, who teaches engineering graphics and architectural graphics. The students will compete in events such as chapter conducting, extemporaneous speaking, film technology, flight challenge, imaging technology, technology bowl, technology problem solving and video game design.

The chapter conducting team is comprised of Parker Thompson, Rachel McClendon, Adam Pettit, Alan Bradshaw and Philip Green.

Participants take a written parliamentary procedures test in order to proceed to the finals, where they perform an opening ceremony, dispose of three items of business and perform a closing ceremony within 15 minutes. The 15 minutes includes a review of parliamentary abilities, items of business, set-up time, presentation and completion of secretary’s minutes.

Allan Bradshaw will compete in extemporaneous speaking, an event where participants give a three- to five-minute speech 15 minutes after having drawn a card on which a technology or TSA topic for their speech is written.

A team of two students, Clinton Fredrick and Austin Keeler, will compete in film technology where participants develop a film/video that focuses on a subject of their choice from one or more of the following areas: the arts, social studies, science or technology. Possible subjects include but are not limited to social study documentaries, nature films, advertisements, comedies or dramas. Sound may accompany the film/video.

In flight endurance, participants analyze flight principles with a rubber band-powered model aircraft. The students build, fly and adjust a model to make long endurance flights inside a contained airspace. Any model design is acceptable if the model complies with the event specifications. All models are to be built and test flown before the event date. Philip Green will represent Waxahachie in this event.

Clinton Fredrick will compete in imaging technology, an event where students capture images and process photographic prints for display that depict the current year’s published theme. Ten qualifying finalists 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. The theme for this year’s contest is “Through the Eyes of a Child.”

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 that they know the answer to the question.

“This is a very competitive event in which Waxahachie High School is very fortunate to be able to represent Texas TSA for the second year in a row,” said Curtis Green, one of the WHS chapter sponsors. “Members of this year’s team did not lose a match at any level of the state qualifying or the state contest. They were also the highest scoring team for the second year in a row on the written exam as well.”

Team members are Parker Thompson, Adam Pettit and Marike Smid, who has the honor of receiving the highest score on the written exam and serves as captain for the team.

A team consisting of Parker Thompson and Marike Smid will participate in the technology problem-solving event. Participants use problem-solving skills and limited materials to develop a solution to a problem given on site. Teams manipulate and process selected materials using certain tools in order to mechanically solve the problem. Participants are required to work as a team to provide the best solution, which is measured objectively.

A new contest for TSA this year is video game design. Participants develop an E-rated game that focuses on the subject of their choice. The game should be interesting, exciting, visually appealing and intellectually challenging. The game should have high artistic, educational and social value. A segment of the game should be submitted for evaluation. Representing Waxahachie High School in video game design are David Pryor and Will Geralds.

For the fourth year in a row, Waxahachie High School has a member of the state officer team. Philip Green, who was elected Texas Technology Students Association reporter on May 5, will attend the conference and will be responsible for representing Texas at all meetings of the voting delegates.

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 1,800 TSA chapters in 48 states and the District of Columbia.