Students from the career and technical student organization, Technology Student Association, represented Waxahachie ISD at the national conference June 28 through July 2 in Washington, DC.

Participants enjoyed the experience of applying classroom and laboratory lessons in hands-on activities or competitive events.

This year’s conference was themed “Model the Way,” as national TSA marks more than four decades of enhancing personal development, leadership, and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math through intra-curricular activities, competitions, and other programs.

The Waxahachie High School Sci-Viz (scientific visualization) team, which consisted of Leslie Martinez, Liam Hill, Colton Lee and Nicole Holmberg, competed amongst 75 other competitors. Together they created animation over a scientific principle and portfolio to document the process.

These first-time competitors were excited for the opportunity to represent WHS and WISD and plan to compete in the same event next year, taking what they learned while in D.C. into next year.

Dhruval Rangrej and Brandon Rodriguez made their first appearance at TSA Nationals on the structural design and engineering team.

The duo took third place at the state contest and was set to make the top 12 semifinals, after studying with former WHS and TSA alumni and national structural winner, Thomas Caliendo. Unfortunately, the team was disqualified for an improper lamination in their bridge. After having their bridge tested by the judges for further learning, their bridge held an astonishing 393 pounds of pressure. This was the second-highest weight held for the entire contest.

The computer integrated manufacturing team consisted of freshmen Nicole Holmberg and Colton Lee. The students who competed in this event designed a STEM-based toy with the theme of the hosting city.

Using the tools in the WHS production lab, Holmberg and Lee created an interlocking puzzle of three layers in which each had a maze where a ball bearing would make its way through each level. On the outside of the box that contained each layer, the cityscape of the Washington, DC skyline was embossed. This project was entirely 3D-printed and had amazing potential.

The digital photography event was entered by Kadin Vire for the third year. This event possessed a theme of “Landscape of Seasons” where students submitted five photos taken and edited to fit the theme.

While at the national conference, Vire also participated with the Texas TSA State Leadership team helping with the state delegation meetings. During the second state delegation meeting, she led a group of over 50 Texas TSA students born in June through an activity to get to know each other using this year’s theme of “Model the Way.”

While at the national conference, students attended session on, “Want to Be an Engineer,” Special Interest Session on LEAP Leadership Challenge as well as the general courses were “Learning to Fail” was a topic by the guest speaker, former TSA National Officer.

More than 250,000 TSA members across the United States are “learning to lead in a technical world.”

Technology Student Association serves students enrolled in CTE courses aligned with these six career clusters: arts, audio-video technology and communication; architecture and construction; business, management and administration; information technology; manufacturing; and science, technology, engineering and math.