Pictured are the 24 members of the OTMS TSA Chapter that attended the TSA National Competition in National Harbor, Md.
Pictured are the 24 members of the OTMS TSA Chapter that attended the TSA National Competition in National Harbor, Md.
In late June, 24 dedicated students of the Olde Town Middle School Chapter of the Technology Student Association (TSA) braved a 22-hour bus ride to attend the TSA National Championships in National Harbor, Md., which is located just outside of Washington D.C. These students entered in several different categories in hopes of placing on this national level. Some of these categories are dragster, flights, structural modeling, VEX robotics, and technology essays.

The students of the OTMS TSA Chapter placed in the top 24 teams in VEX robotics. One student, Julia Jia, placed as a finalist in Essays on Technology. She ranked sixth out of approximately 60 entries. Jia was allowed to use only three notecards she brought filled with information, citations, and ideas. Armed with these, she only had a short amount of time to write her essay. She then interviewed with the judges as part of making it to the finals. As well as Jia making her mark, the Chapter as a whole received the TSA Middle School Chapter of the Year for Mississippi. This is a national award that went out to the top middle and/or high school chapter from each state present at the competition.

There were over 6,800 middle and high school students in attendance at this competition. All of these students started their days with a general session or competition at 8 a.m. and would continue until 6 p.m. that evening. That, paired with the fact that these students would spend their evenings exploring the cities and gaining new experiences in foods and sights, led to some hectic scheduling for advisors such as Bill Richardson. However, Richardson was rewarded for his high stress level when he received the award of National TSA Advisor of the year for Mississippi. This award is very high honor and shows the leadership abilities of these student Advisors.

Richardson led this trip as Sponsor of the OTMS TSA Chapter, but he was accompanied by fellow TSA sponsors Sheila McGraw, Bobby Robinson, and Tammy King.