By: Brayden Goldenstein
The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a small, relatively unknown club that has existed within Umatilla High School for many years.
TSA members have won multiple competitions and have many award banners hanging up in the metal shop. Over the years though, the club has been shrinking in size.
It used to be able to “rival against other programs such as STLT, ASB, the people who actually attended key club” according to Nikolas Schuening, a senior member of TSA.
“TSA, is a different beast,” Schuening said. “It’s a technology club that involves aspects of Engineering, such as bridge building, CAD, Marketing, and Robotics.”
Members go to three different competitions every year. The competitions are held at Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC), but the national competition is always an option for those groups that excel.
The first competition involves three categories: manufacturing prototypes, structural design, and flight endurance. “Manufacturing prototypes” is the building of 20 toys, packaging, and presenting them to judges about to how the project is educationally beneficial.
“Structural design” pairs team members working together to build a bridge efficiently in a limited amount of time that fits to the specified parameters: it has to be a certain width, height and length.
“Flight endurance” is the process of building a model plane, launching the plane and having the plane land. It is judged by how long it stays in flight in the air.
As of the start of October, the TSA Club is made up of five people: Schuening, Brayden Goldenstein, Anthony Ibarra, Elizabeth Loera, and Alizay Rodriguez. Mr. David Dever is the director of TSA and has his focus set on getting more members to join.
“My friend Nik, he’s a senior and he says that there weren’t that many people,” said Ibarra, a sophomore at UHS and new TSA member. “Nik said it was like Robotics and so I was interested, because he explained like different competitions like having to build like a wooden bridge and that interested me.”
Ibarra has big hopes for the TSA club. “I worked a little bit on the marketing and for TSA, we have to build a toy and market it. And I sometimes have to build a robot and that’s the same thing as prototyping and building a toy or prototyping and building the bridge.”
Schuening doesn’t want to see the club disappear. “TSA has given me a lot of things throughout high school and I only wish to help others do the same,” he said. “This club has and will always be very important to me as it gave me a sense of belonging my first year, which helped develop the person I am today. For that I am eternally grateful.”