35 Diamond Bar Students Compete in TSA Nationals

Brian Chang, Asst, News Editor

Thirty-five Diamond Bar High School students recently competed in the Technology Student Association National Conference held in Gaylord, Texas. There they competed against over 6,500 students from all over the country in 35 STEM-based events.

California, as a whole, reached a major milestone by having its most finalists since the event’s inception, with students from the state advancing in categories such as Children’s Stories, Desktop Publishing, and Transportation Modeling. All members from the three Californian teams in these categories were from DBHS.

One team, consisting of Michelle Chang, Jennifer Chang, and Sandy Pan was able to continue on to the final round of Children’s Stories. In this event, teams wrote and illustrated either a children’s fable or an adventure story, written in poetry or prose, that focused on aspects of STEM subjects.

“[To prepare], we asked people to look over our story and give us feedback. We also prepared for questions that [the judges] might ask if we made it to interviews,” team member Jennifer Chang said. The team’s story was about a girl named Kimmy and her dog Milo, who had his legs amputated due to cancer. Kimmy designs prosthetic legs for her dog so he can run again, using 3D printing to make her idea a reality.

In the Desktop Publishing event, students Bernard Chen and Austin Chiang placed fourth and seventh, respectively. Competitors created portfolios containing a poster, a news release and a newsletter. The semifinalists were given a problem to solve using a computer to draft and subsequently edit an in-house publication.

Ritesh Pendekanti also proceeded to the final round for Transportation Modeling, in which students created a scale model of a vehicle that matched a given set of criteria.

“I was half-asleep when it happened because I pulled an all nighter with my roommates and wasn’t expecting anything and planned to sleep during the awards ceremony,” Pendekanti said. “I felt embarrassed because the awards announcer said my name wrong.”

Additionally, another DBHS team—consisting of Forest Lam and Frank Jiang—reached the semifinal round of Structural Engineering. The team built a variation of a picture, provided by the TSA website. The design was then tested for design stability and efficiency.

“The 2015 National TSA conference was an incredible experience for me. I was able to meet so many new people and connect with other students across the country. It was especially amazing to be recognized as a finalist for Desktop Publishing and to see what the opportunities that Diamond Bar High School TSA provides,” Chen said.