Tech/Science Students Meet In Bakersfield
• Peninsula High students take over TSA conference in Bakersfield.Some 70 Peninsula High students participated in the annual Technology Student Association (TSA) events in Bakersfield Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24.
The two-day event is the fourth year Peninsula has participated and the sixth year that it has been held. TSA Events incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) into different aspects of life. These are then translated to different categories that students can sign up to compete in.
There are events that are completed throughout that school year, such as fashion design and technology, children’s stories, architectural design, digital video production and more.
There are also competitions held on-site, such as technology bowl, essays on technology and biotech. From each category, around five to eight semifinalists are chosen, and they advance to the final round, usually giving interviews or presentations in front of two judges.
Peninsula High has always excelled at TSA in California, with many students qualifying to go to Nationals, which is being held in Atlanta this year.
“For me, TSA was a really big experience because it was my first time doing any type of STEM competition group, and I believe that it was so worth it,” said sophomore Rianne Aguas.
He said, “Working all year long on this project and seeing all your hard work pay off at competition is such a gratifying feeling, and something I have never experienced before.
“As this is my first year doing TSA, it was a bit difficult at first, formulating a team and figuring everything out, but in the end, we got everything situated so everything flowed smoothly.”
The presidents of TSA are Saehui Hwang and Alisa Hathaway, and the vice-presidents are Jocelyn Ma, Robert Peltekov and Sina Moshfeghi. Stacy Ahn and RJ Wakefield-Carl are the secretaries. The two treasurers are Anna Chang and Sophia Jenson. The adviser is Chas Lee, who is also the adviser for TSA Teams and Ocean Bowl.
Senior Christopher Chien has been doing TSA for two years in the event of music production. His team placed third at state, securing his spot at Nationals. This will mark his last year competing, but he recounts the memories he has made during his stay at Bakersfield.
Said Chien, “This year’s TSA conference was a great experience. “I met competitors from all over the state with many different perspectives and aspirations, and I had an amazing time working with and competing against my friends and classmates. I learned a lot about the ins and outs of producing and recording music, which was really helpful for me as I currently work on other projects and albums of my own.”
Seven chaperones accompanied the students to Bakersfield and watched over them throughout the trip. Many team members are new sophomores and juniors who have never participated in TSA.
“This was my first year participating in TSA Events,” said junior Loren Kim. “It was different than what I thought it was going to be like, but being with all my friends while competing is something that I know I will never forget and I am so glad I decided to join.”
As students prepare for the competition in Atlanta during the summer, they will work harder than ever to make their event the best it can be.
California TSA officials have announced that there will be a period of reconstruction next year to rebuild and make improvements to TSA Events. Consequently, there will be no 2019 TSA conference. It will resume in 2020.
“This was my last year competing, and I think I ended it in the best way possible,” said junior Ari Cho. “TSA is something I will never forget and while the work was rigorous and time consuming, in the end, it was all worth it.”