This week will be rather difficult for me. My daughter is in the States Competition for her school's TSA club. The TSA is the Technology Student Association. They promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathemetics) ideas through various forms of competition. The Regional Competition took place in February. My daughter participated in two team events. Water Infrastructure was a pre-competition event where the students wrote a paper about various ways to save water. (I admit that I don't completely understand what they did on that one.) The second event was a 2-person Problem Solving team. They received a toolbox and had to figure out a solution to a problem. Their problem was to get a marble into a cup from a spot two feet above the cup. My daughter's team built a spiral slide. It was pretty neat.
The Water Infrastructure team won second place in the competition. This qualified my daughter for States, which takes place this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
This time around, the kids must participate in three events. My daughter has Inventions & Innovations, Environmental Problems, and Delta Dart. Inventions & Innovations is exactly what it sounds like - the kids have to invent something. My daughter's team took an alarm clock and modified it so you can wave your hand over the clock to turn on the snooze instead of hitting a button. I have to say that I am very intrigued by this concept. I need more sleep after all!
Environmental Problems is another team effort. The group had to write a 10+ page paper about an environmental issue. Her group chose smog. They ended up with a 12-page paper and they will be finishing their presentation today.
Finally, Delta Dart. This is a solo event. Each participant designs and builds a glider. (Like, paper airplane-sized. Not human-sized.) The glider that flies the farthest wins.
I am so glad that my daughter decided to join the TSA. Granted, I will probably have anxiety attacks for the rest of the week until she gets back Saturday night, but at least she will be having fun. She enjoys building things and the TSA gives her the ability to build whatever she wants. I highly recommend that anyone with kids that enjoy STEM classes look into the TSA. If your school doesn't have a chapter, try to get one. You won't regret it.