A Celebration of Success: TSA Turns 40

Atlanta, GA—Approximately 8,000 middle and high school student members from across the country are expected to attend the 2018 National Technology Student Association Conference from June 22nd to 26th at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta—where TSA held its first national conference in 1978.

This year’s conference theme is “A Celebration of Success,” as TSA marks its 40th anniversary of enhancing personal development, leadership, and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through intracurricular activities, competitions, and other programs. More than 250,000 TSA student members in schools across the United States are “learning to lead in a technical world.”

“The annual National TSA Conference brings together in one place, TSA student members from across the country who have interests ranging from technology and engineering to graphic design and writing,” says 2017–2018 National TSA President Aala Nasir, a graduating senior at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, VA. “The excitement is beyond words and the bonds I form and skills I acquire during the conference, and in TSA, will last a lifetime.”

At the conference:

  • Middle school and high school students will take part in dozens of STEM competitions such as 3D Animation, Coding, Forensic Technology, and Environmental Engineering.
  • Others will compete in the Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) finals. This year’s theme is "Engineering in a Greener World." Original academic and innovative concepts are developed for TEAMS based on the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges.
  • Middle school students will design, build, and race solar-powered vehicles in Junior Solar Sprint (JSS), funded by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP).
  • A new, national TSA officer team for the 2018–2019 school year will be elected and installed.
  • The national championships of the TSA VEX Robotics Competition and the TSA VEX IQ Challenge will be held.
  • Professional leadership training will be provided through the TSA program known as LEAP (Leadership. Education. Achievement. Personal Growth.), which entered its second year for high school student members and its first year for middle school student members.
  • The keynote address will feature Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, the leading non-profit trade association for the global technology industry. Thibodeaux—a frequent commentator in worldwide tech news coverage—will speak on “Innovation Waves: Past, Present, Future.” TSA has partnered with CompTIA’s NextUp initiative, managed by Creating IT Futures, to interest teenagers in information technology (IT) careers.
  • Two other leadership speakers will take center stage. James Coleman, Jr., a TSA and Harvard University alumnus, will share his experiences from teaching to launching startups, and encourage attendees to utilize their TSA skills to achieve their dreams. Shannon Huffman Polson is a former leader and manager at Guidant and Microsoft, an author, and one of the first women to fly Apache combat helicopters in the U.S. Armed Forces. She will speak on “Attaining Your Goals.”
  • Special recognitions, such as the American Cancer Society (ACS) Spirit of Service Award winners. will be announced. TSA chapters at schools raise money for ACS research, education, advocacy, and patient services.

For more information on TSA’s year-round impact on the next generation of innovators and leaders, see tsaweb.org.

(Press release PDF download)