TSA takes home honors from regional competitions


TSA members gather for a group photo after the MTHS regional competition. Photo courtesy of Todd Johnston.

By Nolan DeGarlais, News Editor

The MTHS Technology Student Association (TSA) hosted their first regional competition on Saturday, Jan. 13 at MTHS. Students from five schools inside and outside of the district competed in events at the competition, with 11 MTHS students taking top three positions. The event featured competitions in Extemporaneous Speech, Problem Solving, On-Demand Video, Structural Engineering and Dragster Design.

While the MTHS TSA chapter has attended many regional competitions throughout its existence until this year it had never prepared and hosted one at MTHS. Beginning after the Washington TSA (WTSA) State Conference last year, MTHS TSA advisor and engineering teacher James Wilson and the newly elected MTHS TSA officer team decided they wanted to host a regional competition themselves. By hosting a regional competition, TSA leadership believed they could continue to make more of an impact on the state level as the MTHS chapter continues to expand rapidly in membership.

Throughout the school year, the TSA officers prepared for the regional competition, deciding on matters such as which events to run and where each event should take place. Many of the events, such as Problem Solving, took place in the HUB while part of the gym was an area for the dragster cars from the Dragster Design Competition to race.

MTHS TSA President Cole Johnston believes the event was a success and is confident an even more fruitful regional competition can be held next year.

“The regional competition was an overall success and [student] turnout was great from both our school and schools from around the area,” Johnston said. “I really think [the TSA chapter] can improve on our experiences from this regional and host another successful regional with even higher turnout next year.”  

MTHS students won top three positions in all events, with eight first place finishes. The first place awards went to Michael Malysh and Nicholas Boen in Problem Solving, to Robert Krieger, Anthony Le, Matthew Khajehpour, Daniel Quach, Reece Newhouse and Andy Shaw in On-Demand Video and to Matthew Khajehpour in Extemporaneous Speech.

Additionally, second place awards went to Trevor Doan and Ethan Cruz for Structural Engineering and to Michael Malysh for Dragster Design. Third place awards went to Andy Shaw and Alec Ung for Problem Solving and to Amy Harris for Extemporaneous Speech.

MTHS TSA members also attended a regional competition on Saturday, Jan. 6 hosted by the TSA chapter at Henry M. Jackson High School. At that competition, five MTHS students placed in the top three in three events.  Ryan Baagason and Aidan Alderson won first place in Structural Engineering, Cole Johnston and Meghan Park won first place in Debating Technological Issues and Reiden Chea took third place in Essays on Technology.

With the combined experience of two regional competitions behind them, the chapter now prepares along with the rest of WTSA for the 2018 WTSA State Conference at the DoubleTree Seatac Hotel. The conference will take place from March 22 to 24, where TSA members from across the state will meet to present their projects and compete in a range of competitive events. Until then, TSA members will work to finalize their projects and ensure they are ready to compete against hundreds of other TSA competitors from across Washington state.