The Center for Technology & Entrepreneurship is offering new and exciting, hands-on learning opportunities to Middle and Upper School students this year.  Tony O’Neal, Center director, has expanded the Center into the MS by introducing MS students to a variety of competitions available through the Technology Student Association (TSA).  The mission of the TSA is to “foster growth, leadership, and opportunities in technology, innovation, design, and engineering. Members apply and integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics concepts through co-curricular and related programs.”

Although I did not pursue a career in a traditional math or science field (pre-calculus class taught me that my mathematical abilities were limited), one of my most meaningful learning experiences as a MS student was through a science and engineering competition. Five friends and I (we called ourselves the “Wrong Brothers”) competed in a contest in which we needed to construct a series of airplanes and other flying apparatus that would complete a series of different tasks. The project taught me about the rewards of working collaboratively on an academic problem and thinking creatively to solve that problem. I smile anytime I look back on memories of that event.

The TSA has a wide variety of competitions that allow students to explore a number of different areas. We have an 8th grade group planning to design and build their own CO2-powered race car. A team of 7th graders is filming and editing a public service announcement for the American Cancer Association. A number of 5th graders will be tackling a TSA digital photography competition.  You can see how excited MS students – boys and girls alike – are to be a part of TSA at the Academy.

These outside competitions complement our liberal arts core curriculum and give our interested students great exposure as they begin pondering future study and careers in STEAM disciplines – such as those that were highlighed in the Spring/Summer 2013 NewsMagazine!  Many thanks to our STEAM teachers for helping to ignite this passion for learning in our students!