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11-20-19 — Technology Students Shine at All Competition Levels

Nov. 20, 2019 ~ About 220 competitive young scientists, technology wizards, engineers and mathematicians gathered recently for the 14th annual Olathe TSA regionals at Olathe West High School. TSA (Technology Student Association) is a national organization for students enrolled in any STEM-related course.

“This was the largest number of participants at an Olathe regional,” said Kevin Hulsen, industrial technology teacher at Olathe West High School. He and fellow teacher John McDonald advise the West team and organized this year’s regional that included 21 events ranging from technical sketching to structural engineering, flight endurance to dragster design, and more. All five Olathe high schools, six Olathe middle schools and two Blue Valley high schools participated.

Technology Student Association has more than 30 technology events related to STEM, Hulsen said. Students may compete in speech events like debate or prepared and extemporaneous presentations, or pursue hands-on events like structural engineering and flight endurance.

“TSA has a very broad range of technology events that cater to a diverse range of student interests,” Hulsen said. “Our next competition will be the state TSA event in Salina in late March. Students who win a team or individual event at the state level will qualify for the national competition, held this June in Nashville.”

TSA is an optional membership many Olathe students have chosen due to the success of their school’s team. Hulsen said Olathe TSA has been very successful at the local, state and national levels. Olathe East, North and Northwest all had students in the top 10 at nationals this past summer.

“We have a strong program in Olathe with a good foundation of students doing some really cool design project above and beyond the classroom,” Hulsen said.

Results of Olathe TSA 2019 competition

  • Middle school chapter awards: first place tie between Chisholm Trail and Mission Trail; third place Pioneer Trail; fourth place Oregon Trail; fifth place Indian Trail; sixth place Summit Trail
  • High school chapter awards: first place Olathe Northwest; second place Olathe West; third place Olathe East; fourth place Olathe South; fifth place Olathe North; sixth place Blue Valley; seventh place Blue Valley North