Colonial TSA earned 31 finalist awards at state competition

The Colonial Technology Student Association (TSA) brought home 31 finalist awards, including several top-three prizes, from the 41st annual Pennsylvania Technology Student Association leadership conference in April. Students from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) and Colonial Middle School (CMS) showcased a diverse set of technical and leadership skills relating to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics).

Approximately 40 students posed on stage with sign


"TSA prepares students for the future like no other organization can," said PWHS Junior Casey Sharpe. "It fosters leadership and teamwork and promotes personal growth. By being a STEAM based organization, it ensures that students are prepared to be active members of our ever changing world."

PWHS students earned 10 finalist spots:

  • Alec Gold, Miles Krassen, and Emma Smith earned first place in the event Biotechnology Design. The event required students to research contemporary issues in marine biology and propose a solution for such a problem, complete with a display and model. In the same event, the team of Dhruv Agarwal, Tara Al-Saleem, Abby Minecci, Anthony Rocca, Casey Sharpe and Liza Smaliak earned fourth place.

  • A team of Agarwal, Al-Saleem, Minecci, Rocca, Sharpe and Smaliak joined Andrew Beer to collect a first place award in the event Engineering Design. In this event, students centered projects around the theme ,"Practical and Cost Effective Uses for Solar Energy In and Around a Home".

  • A team of Agarwal, Minecci and Smaliak placed fourth in the event Music Production.

  • Small group of students holding trophies


    In the event Animatronics, the team of Krassen and Smith joined Brandon Leibowitz and Ethan Wawrzynek to earn fifth place.

  • Also, a team of Al-Saleem, Minecci, Rocca, Sharpe, and Smaliak received the seventh place award for the event Children's Stories.

  • A team of Agarwal, Beer, Minecci, Sharpe, Smaliak, and Smith earned a seventh place in the event Scientific Visualization.

  • Junior Tara Al Salem won fourth place in the event Prepared Presentation

  • Senior Emma Smith and Sophomore Abby Minecci earned fifth and tenth place respectively in the event Future Technology Teacher.

For more information on TSA's high school events, click here.

CMS students earned 21 finalist spots:

  • In the event Medical Technology Issues, wherein students choose a concept related to concerns in the modern medical world, a team of Zane Al-Saleem, Sevita Beer, Avery Broggi, Anna Harrington, Benjamin Moldovsky and Michael Phair earned second place. Another team with members Cayce Becker, Caitlin Dougherty, Colum Dougherty, Jack Laverty, Nolen Morasco, and Kaidan Rickert earned seventh place in the same event.

    "Being in TSA allows me to express interests and passions by competing in specific events such as Medical Technology," said Eighth Grader Avery Broggi. "When you see your hard work pay off, it is extremely satisfying and rewarding."

  • students on stage receiving a trophy


    A team of Alexandra Anaya, Allie Fergus, Eli Krassen, Brad Rhodes, Kaidan Rickert, and Austin Rickert received second place in the event Microcontroller Design. In this event, students employ skills in programming, writing and public speaking to create and present a microcontroller product.

  • Anaya, Beer, Broggi, Harrington, and Moldovsky joined Jeffery Weiss to receive the second place award in the event Website Design. For this event, students designed and coded a website to go along with the theme of advertising an Escape Room company. A team of Becker, Fergus, Caitlin Dougherty, and Colum Dougherty, joined Isabella DiMartino and Hannah Loewenstern to win the fourth place prize in the same event.

  • For the event Biotechnology, Becker, DiMartino, Caitlin and Colum Dougherty, and Loewenstern teamed up with Raynah Fandozzi to earn third place. For this competition, students conducted research on and constructed a model of a solution to a contemporary biotechnology issue. A team of Morasco, Blake Carter, Joe Fazio, Jared Kolsun, Eli Krassen, and Austin Rickert won fourth place and a team of Al-Saleem, Beer, Broggi, Moldovsky, Evan Friedman, and David Ruck won sixth in the event.

  • Additionally, a team of Al-Saleem, Becker, Broggi, Harrington, Moldovsky, and Phair won fifth place in the event chapter team.

  • DiMartino, Fandozzi, Fergus, and Loewenstern worked with Lacey Kutrz and Naimah Malone to win the fifth-place prize in STEM animation. Becker, along with Caitlin and Colum Dougherty and Austin and Kaidan Rickert earned sixth place in the same event.

  • Six students with trophies


    Becker and Phair won sixth place in the event Technical Design as well.

  • The team of Becker, Caitlin Dougherty, and Malone also won a sixth place award in the event Leadership Strategies.

  • In the event Community Service Video, Anaya, Beer, and Fandozzi won the eighth place award.

  • Also, Becker, Caitlin Dougherty, Morasco, Kemith Perera, Rhodes and Austin Rickert placed ninth in the event Off the Grid.

  • Benjamin Moldovsky won second place in the event Technology Bowl, in which he demonstrated his knowledge of the organization and other technological concepts.

  • Moldovsky also received third place in the event chapter team written, where he displayed an understanding of parliamentary procedure. Cayce Becker presented the same skill and finished seventh in the competition.

  • Jared Kolsun won third place in the event Pennsylvania Delta Dart, as he constructed a glider under specific regulations.

  • Kaidan Rickert showed off his skills in Computer Aided Design by earning fourth place in the event CAD Foundations.

For more information on TSA's middle school events, click here.

CMS wins Inspiration Award

The CMS students were also recognized for their leadership skills and consciousness of community-based involvement as they won the Inspiration Award. Each year, the Pennsylvania Technology Student Association identifies one high school and one middle school who "have an impact far beyond their day-to-day technology projects." Middle school students documented their initiatives in educating students about technology education at Whitemarsh Elementary School and fundraising efforts with the American Cancer Society.

"My favorite part about states is meeting members from across Pennsylvania and improving friendships within the chapter," said CMS Eighth Grader Cayce Becker. "What surprised me most about the competition was seeing all of the amazing projects others made and learning about their topics."

"It surprised me how much people from other chapters were willing to help you whether or not you were one of their competitors," added Eighth Grader Benny Moldovsky. "PA-TSA is really just a big family with countless kind, dedicated members."

PWHS give back at the state level

ten students onstage with right hand raised


PWHS students have also shown their dedication to leadership by serving at the state level. Sophomore Dhruv Agarwal represented the organization as its state Historian at the conference and was successful in his election to become the state's Reporter for the 2019-20 school year. Junior Casey Sharpe will follow Agarwal as the state's Historian for the 2019-20 school year.

"The biggest challenge at the State Conference was to try not to get stressed," said Dhruv. "When you have multiple events making it to next round, managing state committees to make sure all tasks would be finished so that the state conference runs smoothly, and even running to be part of the next State Officer team, things will get stressful. It was always important to make sure to keep your time managed well so that when things fall apart, you still have time to fix everything."

Colonial TSA's advisors include CMS teachers Clint Rickert, Neil Engle and Jeff Yeagle, PWHS teacher Rich Evan, Diana Rickert and Joe Narke.