TSA Advisor Runs TSA chapter and TEAMS event

Front Page Summary: 

Tennessee Advisor Supports Two TSA STEM Programs

By Megan Honour
TSA Social Media Intern


TSA has grown over the last few years by offering many different STEM programs and competitions.  In addition to TSA’s middle and high school competitions, TSA TEAMS is an annual competition where students work collaboratively to solve real-world engineering challenges, applying their math and science skills in practical, creative ways.    Students at one school in Tennessee are lucky to have a teacher that supports both TSA and TEAMS programs.

Guy McAmis is a Drafting/Engineering instructor at David Crockett High School in Jonesborough, TN.  Mr. McAmis worked in engineering until he became a teacher eight years ago.  This is McAmis’s second year as a TEAMS coach; additionally he serves as a TSA advisor and advises 40 students overall in TEAMS, TSA and Ruri-teens, a community service organization for students. His students participate in TEAMS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and he has 15 students that are going to the Tennessee TSA State Conference. “We also plan to compete in Orlando, Florida at the 2013 national TSA conference,” McAmis said. McAmis may have a larger personal interest in his team at nationals than some because of a bet he made with his students. “I have had a mustache for 30 years. I told my students if they won at nationals I would shave it off.” Now that’s dedication!

Throughout his years in engineering and teaching, McAmis has seen many students do well in math and science because of their participation in STEM competitions. “Being involved in hands-on STEM education lets them get a taste of what college is going to be like and what’s expected of them.  It  helps them decide to move on to a post-secondary school,” McAmis said. Furthermore, he says it helps students become more responsible for their actions, become more organized and work in teams.  The crossover between TEAMS and TSA seems to benefit students as well, according to McAmis. “You have to be able to do things in TEAMS that you do in TSA, such as problem solving and teaming up together,” he said. He also said that the competition aspect of TEAMS and TSA is similar and that they teach students not only how to work together on a project but also how to compete together. During his experience with both TEAMS and TSA, McAmis said they have seen an excellent return rate from students as they come back every year to participate and compete.

After nearly a decade of teaching, McAmis has seen many ups and downs. Of his favorite success story, McAmis said, “I had a young lady that had never won anything. During her second year in TSA, she competed in Architectural CAD and went to regionals and won first place, then went to state and won second place. Just the joy and the look on her face when she won at state I can never explain.”

It is teachers like McAmis that get students excited about technology, and we look to him as an example for others to follow. He said, “Working with students is different every day. Some days bring joy and some days are just days, but I would not change the track my life is on for anything.”