Students shine in STEM events during first virtual national TSA conference

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More than 80 middle and high school students from 12 schools represented Kentucky during the 2021 Technology Student Association (TSA) National Conference, with several bringing home awards. More than 5,000 students from across the country participated in the first National TSA Conference to be held virtually.

TSA is a national career and technical student organization that supports middle and high school students engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and is the only career and technical student organization aligned to engineering, aviation and computer science career pathways in Kentucky. Students learn through competitive events, leadership opportunities, community service and other activities.

Kentucky students placing in the top 10 finalist awards include:

  • Website Design – Middle School: Rylan Chau, Jonathan Coupal and Wyatt Poynter, 10th place, Southern Middle School (Fayette County)
  • Data Science and Analytics – High School: Shreyas Kar and Shraman Kar, 7th place, DuPont Manual High School (Jefferson County)
  • Essays on Technology – High School: Aditi Jha, 6th place, DuPont Manual High School (Jefferson County)
  • Software Development – High School: Shreyas Kar and Shraman Kar, 5th place, DuPont Manual High School (Jefferson County)

In addition to the student awards, Jenna Gray, a teacher at ILEAD Academy (Carroll County), was named Kentucky High School Chapter Adviser of the Year. Rebecca Hutchinson, Grant County Middle School, was named the Kentucky Middle School Chapter Adviser of the Year.

Gray also received a $1,000 cash award from TSA’s valued partner CompTIA. She was one of 30 randomly selected registered chapter advisers to receive the 2021 CompTIA Chapter Advisor Stipend. The award may be used as each chapter adviser wishes. 

During the virtual conference, Kentucky TSA State Adviser Mark Harrell was elected to the 12-person national TSA, Inc. Board of Directors to serve a three-year term. Harrell will represent Kentucky TSA on the board as a corporate member. During his board tenure, Harrell will assist with managing the association, setting policies and making special appointments.

“As our need for a STEM workforce increases in Kentucky, it is organizations like TSA that inspire students to pursue careers in these fields,” Harrell said. “We must expose students to a variety of viable career choices and make sure they understand STEM careers exist in Kentucky. TSA allows students to engage in competitive events that align to our high-demand industry sectors and it is our goal to keep this STEM talent in state.”

 “Congratulations to Mark Harrell, all of our chapter advisers, and our state officer team for making KYTSA virtual state conference a success during this difficult year and to our top 10 national finalists,” said David Horseman, associate commissioner for the Office of Career and Technical Education. “It is no surprise that Mr. Harrell has been elected to serve on the TSA, Inc. Board of Directors, because of his professionalism and dedication to the success of TSA student members and the organization.”          

TSA’s membership includes more than 250,000 middle and high school students in approximately 2,000 schools across 48 states and is open to students enrolled in or who have completed or are currently enrolled in STEM middle/high school courses.

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