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Dover Post
  • STEM skills put to the test at Delaware Technology Student Association conference

  • The annual Delaware Technology Student Association State Conference was held at the Delaware State Fairgrounds on Tuesday and Wednesday, brining students from up and down the state to Harrington. The conference offers students a wide variety of events to compete in, including robotics, architectural design and even fashion design.
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  • The annual Delaware Technology Student Association State Conference was held at the Delaware State Fairgrounds on Tuesday and Wednesday, brining students from up and down the state to Harrington. The conference offers students a wide variety of events to compete in, including robotics, architectural design and even fashion design.
    Fashion might seem like an odd event for a technology conference, but it’s not such a stretch, said Lake Forest High School sophomore Mary Beth Robbins.
    “Fashion design involves planning and a design aspect,” Robbins said. “Maybe it’s not buildings, but it has a design aspect.”
    Robbins and her teammates had to make two outfits from scratch. This year’s fashion design theme was “fairytale.” The Lake Forest team submitted two dresses, which had to be completed and turned in back in March. TSA helps prep students to become the tech leaders of tomorrow, Robins said.
    “Technology is a growing aspect of our world today,” Robbins said. “So having a youth organization that is dedicated to the innovation of the future provides a positive experience for our future because we are the youth, we are the leaders of tomorrow’s world.”
    Students can’t prepare in advance for all of the events at the conference. For the technology problem-solving event, students were provided with a set of objects and tasked with creating a device that would allow judges to insert three pennies, three quarters and three nickels all at once and could sort out each type of coin into its own pile. The event is designed to test students’ problem-solving skills, said Chris Harris, a drafting and design teacher and the advisor for Caesar Rodney High School’s TSA team.
    “We try to teach them how to use the things given to them to solve problems,” Harris said. “They don’t know what they’re going to get until they get here and they’re given a problem they’ve never heard before and they have to figure out how to solve the problem.”
    TSA isn’t limited to high school students; it also allows middle school students to get a taste of technology. Andrew Chen, an eighth grader at Postlethwait Middle School, competed in the electrical applications event at the conference, in which students were tasked with taking a set of components they had been given and building a circuit that could detect a spill in a car.
    “We’re given lots of things like resistors, batteries and wires and we just have to create our own design,” Chen said.

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