TSA Club Wins Big

The Technology Student Association ranked nationally at 2021 State and National Conferences


Steve Maietta

Seniors Daniel Zhao, Ace Kim, and Ethan Szeto with advisor Steve Maietta.

The Technology Student Association (TSA) garnered their most wins in club history after competing at the 2021 NJ State Conference in April and the 2021 National Conference in June.

TSA, a club centered on promoting opportunities in STEM and applying technology and engineering skills in challenging and innovative ways, celebrated their six state awards and two national awards at the conferences. Their wins included first place for Board Game Design, Digital Video Production, Engineering Design, and Extemporaneous Speech, as well as third place for On Demand Video and CAD Engineering. At the national level, seniors Ace Kim, Ethan Szeto, and Daniel Zhao, plus 2021 graduate Taner Fetoski, ranked third in Engineering Design. Kim also ranked ninth in Extemporaneous Speech. 

The competition, which was held virtually, includes categories from 3D Design to Music Production and Fashion Design. According to club advisor Steve Maietta, TSA competitions are “complex and involve more than just being technologically minded.”

While club members were familiar with the virtual format since the previous year’s competition was also virtual, it did present some challenges.  “We couldn’t exactly meet in the lab and none of us have tools and machines at our houses to make stuff, so it was all online,” said Zhao. 

Kim, president of the club, added, “A lot of it was more theoretical and idea-based around this type of competition. You had to meet the specs and ideas that you proposed for your project, as opposed to actually building it.”

Other members attribute their success to their level of commitment and consistent meeting schedule. According to Szeto, the “amount of time and effort that [their] group put into it” is a factor that helped them win. TSA members meet every Thursday after school in E-102. 

Maietta, who was honored as the New Jersey State Technology Student Association High School Chapter Advisor of the Year, also credits this year’s success to a “unique blend” of returning upperclassmen and motivated underclassmen.

Reflecting on the future of the club, Kim believes that the “the success of last year will transfer over to the future years” and “people will continue to put their best foot forward.”