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NCMS TSA has three State Championship teams

Courtesy photo Northern Cambria Middle School TSA State Participants are (from left): front row — Alyssa Yahner, Maddie Doughty, Ava Messina, Emily Yuhas, Ava Paronish and Ace Drumm; back row — Emilee DePetro, Julie Dumm, Trey Pershing, Ty Dumm, Ben Messina and Drake Weller. Missing from the photo are Alexa Fox and Mia Laverick.

Nationals set for June

NORTHERN CAMBRIA — Northern Cambria Middle School has three separate State Champions at the PA Virtual State Conference and now will be moving onto the Technology Student Association Virtual National Conference, with less than a month to make changes to their events before submitting them.

In what has been the most challenging year ever for TSA, Northern Cambria Middle School was honored to send 14 students to the PA State Virtual Conference, which included 1,100 students, advisers and judges.

The students that participated this year worked harder than ever to finish their events as there was more to do since it was a virtual event. After months of work, remotely, hybrid, and in person, the Northern Cambria Middle Student’s placed eight teams in the top four for the state of Pennsylvania.

The school has three State Champions this year in Junior Solar Sprint, Off the Grid and Technical Design.

TSA is an organization that prepares students to be problem solvers, engineers and designers. TSA is a nationally recognized student organization that includes 150,000 high school and middle school students. The organization is designed to advance these students in the field of technology and then use those skills to compete against other students.

Junior Solar Sprint is the most popular TSA event at NCMS. Teams design and build cars that are powered by solar power and then are raced 65 feet. Teams receive points for the fastest car, but are also judged on CAD drawings of their car, the design process of their car, and teamwork.

Northern Cambria had three teams place in the top four — which is an incredible feat.

The eighth-grade team of Trey Pershing, Drake Weller, Ty Dumm and Ben Messina were State Champions, with the seventh-grade team of Alyssa Yahner, Emilee DePetro and Julie Dumm as State Runner-Up and the sixth-grade team of Ava Paronish, Ace Drumm, Alexa Fox and Ava Messina finishing in fourth place.

In the event of Technical Design, teams of two are given 36 hours to solve a problem. The team of Alyssa Yahner and Emilee DePetro are State Champions and the team of Maddie Doughty and Ava Paronish placed third. The problem that they needed to solve was designing a device to help organize coats, keys, toys, shoes for a family of four. They created three concepts with Pros and Cons for each one and then had to do a final CAD drawing of their solution.

In an event Off the Grid, which is new to Northern Cambria, the team of Alyssa Yahner, Emilee DePetro and Julie Dumm were State Champions. Finishing in third place at Regions in February, this team spent a great deal of time updating and making their documentation better to capture the win. In this event, they needed to design a house for a family of four in a developing country. They chose to explore Indonesia. After countless hours of research, they had to design a digital display to show how individuals in this country can be self-sustaining and create a smaller carbon footprint. Elements of energy, sustainability, engineering and architecture are key components in this competition.

Maddie Doughty and Drake Weller are State Runner-Ups in Forensic Technology. They first had to take a test to make it into the top 12, then they had to demonstrate how to properly explore a crime scene and how to lift a fingerprint. After researching and practicing, they had 10 minutes to demonstrate their knowledge and skills including how to lift a fingerprint, by explaining what they were doing. Their demonstration lasted more than 7 minutes and through their thoroughness and teamwork they placed second.

The final event that NCMS placed in was PA-Digital Video Challenge. Trey Pershing and Ty Dumm placed fourth in an event where they had 36 hours to film and edit a 60-second video. he theme for this event was “Things you Should Not Do on a Zoom Call.” With the help of other TSA members, they scripted and filmed a Zoom call with some creativity and comedy while doing things that students should not do.

Adviser Matthew Kline said, “These students have been working extremely hard the past two months updating their events from regionals in February. An example of this was the Off the Grid team which placed third at regionals. We spent some time updating their drawings and adding in missing items. Because of this, they were rewarded with a State Championship. The TSA organization teaches the students about the importance of teamwork, STEM education and provides lifelong skills.”

The seven middle school students moving onto the TSA National Virtual event will compete in June.

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