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Held from June 28 to July 2, 2009 in Denver, Colorado, the thirty-first Annual National Technology Student Association (TSA) Conference was attended by members from across the nation, and from two schools in Germany. The conference was housed in the Sheraton Denver Hotel, and the Colorado Convention Center. The competitive aspect of the conference was the culmination of the members’ work through the course of the year, as the members competed in over 65 events. These events are rooted in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) principles that students learned about, and applied their knowledge of, during the school year. The theme of this conference, “TSA: Shape the Future” was in appreciation of the future of its members, and their impact on technology, and the nation.

Through the year, and thanks to the cooperation of high school and middle school technology students, and their respective chapter advisors, the members prepared to compete in a wide variety of technologically based events including those such as System Control Technologies, Graphic Design Challenge, Challenging Technology Issues and Engineering Design. This year, several new events were added to the Competitive Events catalogue, including Music Production and Future Technology Teacher, to diversify the aspects of technology application and education offered by TSA. Those who attended the conference had the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the Dupont Leadership Academy, made possible by TSA’s partnership with Motivated Performance, Inc., the Education Fair, which exhibited displays from TSA sponsoring companies, as well as companies and organizations leading the front in technological innovations, the General Sessions, the Special Interest Sessions, and the annual TSA business meeting. These diverse and rich opportunities provided members the chance to enhance the effectiveness of their leadership skills, become more informed about technological breakthroughs and partnerships, and to elect the 2009-2010 National TSA Officers. Delaware’s own, Peter Andrews, a rising senior at Mount Pleasant High School, had the honor of being elected President.

Highlights of the 31st annual conference included James Coleman Jr., the keynote speaker at the first General Session, held Monday, June 29. Mr. Coleman is a TSA alumnus and was the 1998-1999 National TSA President. National TSA once again partnered with The American Cancer Society (ACS) for its National Service Project, and conference attendees participated in the TSA/ACS Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back commemorative event. Chapters and states were recognized for their ACS fundraising endeavors through the course of the year. Delaware was honored as the state whose chapters collectively raised the most money for ACS, and was ranked in the top three for most money raised per chapter. Delaware’s own Mount Pleasant High School received an award for raising the most money as a chapter, collecting over $33,000 through its annual ACS walk.

Delaware also was recognized for its exceptional performance in the competitive aspect of the national conference, with thirteen top ten finishes. Finalists in the Middle School Competitive events from Delaware are: Victoria Muir from Springer Middle School for placing 9th in Career Challenge, Quan Bui from Hanby Middle School for placing 2nd in Digital Photography, Hanby Middle School for placing 9th in Electronic Game Challenge, Postlethwait Middle School for placing 8th in Leadership Challenge, and Hanby Middle School for placing 4th in Video Challenge. Finalists in the High School Competitive events from Delaware are: Pratyusha Gupta from Caesar Rodney High School for placing 5th in Career Comparisons, 4th place in Future Tech Teacher, and 2nd place in Promotional Graphics, Lamar Meekins from Seaford Senior High School for placing 9th in Dragster Design, Liz Sauerbrunn from Concord High School from placing 2nd in Technical Sketching and Applications, Christine Sauerbrunn from Concord High School for placing 4th in Technical Sketching and Applications, and Concord High School for placing 2nd in Manufacturing Prototype and 2nd place in System Control Technology.

After another successful national conference, Delaware in particular is looking forward to next year’s thirty-second annual national conference held in Baltimore, Maryland. Delaware TSA has the honor of hosting next year’s national conference in the great city of Baltimore.