CMS hosts regional TSA competition

Over 900 students from the Greater Philadelphia suburbs traveled to Colonial Middle School for the Region 5 Technology Student Association (TSA) conference and competition. The event gave students the opportunity to show off their creativity and understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). 

Participants competed in events such as Biotechnology, Coding, Inventions and Innovations, and Video Game Design. Several teams raced their Junior Solar Sprint cars.

“It’s a solar powered car,” explains sixth-grader Avaneesh Makesh, a first-time competitor. The races are timed; the goal is to have the fastest car. “It’s fun to compete with it against other districts.”

Two students and a judge crowd around a solar sprint car

Post-race, two CMS students watch as a judge evaluates their Junior Solar Sprint car.

The middle school’s TSA teams meet several times per week to plan, build, and test their projects. “Building it and testing the results is my favorite part,” says sixth-grader Viet Zhao, who also participated for the first time on Saturday. “You get to see your creations actually do something cool.”

TSA emphasizes teaching students to problem-solve and encourages learning as individuals and in teams. Many projects integrate knowledge and craftsmanship from multiple fields to promote practical education. “I’m learning skills that I can use for the future,” Zhao says, and then adds, “Maybe I’ll be an engineer.”

Amidst 11 middle schools and 10 high schools, students from Colonial Middle School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School placed in over 20 of the events.

Three teammates hold their Junior Solar Sprint car
Five teammates showing off their solar sprint car