ITHACA, NY—Students from DeWitt Middle School and Ithaca High School made a trip to Dallas, Texas late last month to test their skills against some of the best young tech minds in the world at the National Conference on Technology Students Association.
Participating for the first time in three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 25 local students faced off against others from across the country and even the world. Despite the stiff competition, the students did exceptionally well, earning a host of top finishes (a full list of winners can be found at the end of this article). First place includes Kisbeka Janosi and Luke Hwang.
A total of 17 children from DeWitt High School and eight students from Ithaca High School participated in a wide range of events. Students have been working on long-term projects throughout the school year
DeWitt High School teacher David Buchner helped lead the trip, expressing how grateful he and the team were to have another opportunity to participate.
DeWitt student Imri Wolf had one of the most interesting experiences at the competition. In the Computer Aided Design competition, Wolf was unable to log into the required platform for most of the two hours of allotted time. Eventually, Wolf had to call Buchner to bring his personal computer to the site.
At that point, Wolf only had a fraction of the total time remaining. He submitted his project without much expectation, then got a surprise: despite the challenges, he finished in fourth place.
“I knew exactly what I wanted to do,” Wolf said. “But by that time, I knew I was going to be in trouble […] I practiced so much in the weeks leading up to this.”
Practice began and Wolf was able to bring DeWitt his second first-four finisher in the race, along with winner Kisbeka Janosi.
Full list of winners, by student journalist Jamie Pritchard:
Computer Aided Design (CAD) first place, Kisbeka Janosi and fourth place, Imri Wolf. Coding third place, Elijah Kelly and Jamie Prichard. 1st Place Technology Essay Luke Hwang. Fourth place Junior Solar Sprint, Ada Iyer, Jeffery Zhao, Imri Wolf and Haruto Yagi. Third Place Mass Production, Elijah Kelly, Henry Schneider, Tyler Stuglis and Rohan Gupta. Third Place Vex Iq Challenge Luke Hwang, Tyler Stuglis, Jamie Pritchard, Bohan Zhu and Griffin Gold-Rodgers.
In high school, Jennifer Zhao in CAD engineering design placed sixth.
TSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to learning to lead in a technical world. At TSA students learn technical skills such as Computer Aided Design (CAD), Coding or engineering through hands-on activities. They also build teamwork skills that will be very useful later in school and in future jobs.
17 students from DeWitt TSA High School and 8 from Ithaca High School flew to Dallas, Texas from June 26th to June 30th. They competed in a variety of events including biotechnology, robot building, children’s story writing and video game design. Students worked throughout the academic year on their projects after class as well as fundraising to offset travel costs. Dewitt High School has done TSA for over 25 years and will continue for who knows how long.
A story from TSA nationals is Imri Wolf overcoming challenges. Imri was taking his high school CAD engineering finals, but when he tried to log into his CAD platform account, it didn’t work. He eventually had to call Dewitt’s TSA advisor Mr. Buchner to bring his personal computer, but by the time he logged in, he had only 25 minutes to do the piece. Imri later said “It was an easy form overall, but it needed more time.” So after that happened, he was quite shocked to learn that he came fourth in the final.