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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Highlands Students Win State Championships for Technology Projects

Technology Student Association (TSA) state champions Sarah Redden, Rajdeep Vaghela, Donovan Staab and JT Barrett celebrate their win with an eye toward nationals in DC (missing Owen Greiwe and Andrew Siska)

  By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor

The Technology Student Association (TSA) holds competitions at the regional, state and national levels to promote education in what has become known as STEM subject areas – science, technology, engineering and math. TSA membership includes 233,000 middle and high school students from 2,000 schools in 49 states.

A group of students from Highlands High School recently took top place in the Kentucky TSA competition held in Louisville competing as both teams and individuals for different areas of interest.

They will soon head to Washington, DC, for the national TSA competition in June.

Wins for individuals and teams

Senior Donovan Staab won for CAD Architecture. He was tasked with creating a drawing with only a few hours' notice. He also was part of the winning team for Architecture Design that included Sarah Redden and Owen Greiwe.

Redden explained their project started with a prompt to design modular pre-fabricated housing that would be used to house people after a natural disaster. The housing had to be both economical and transportable by truck.

"We took these modular units that fold up and are able to be linked together to accommodate any size family. Then we had to present our design to two architects and sell it to them," added Staab.

A team that included seniors James (JT) Barrett and Rajdeep Vaghela, took first in Digital Video Engineering. Barrett explained they created a funny mockmentary video explaining how to survive in high school. They took third place at regionals, but used comments from that experience to rework parts of the video, taking first place at state.

Students Greiwe and Andrew Siska also earned top place in a Problem Solving competition.

Year-long work and preparation

About 14-15 students work on technology projects all year, explained Ron Rosel, who teaches technology at Highlands. "We competed at regionals at Morehead State University, then Louisville for state and now moving to Washington DC for our nationals... I am very proud of them, they worked very hard, and I want to thank everybody, the board and the community for your support."

He noted that he wanted to recognize his fellow technology teacher Bill Poff who helped train Barrett in digital video and who helps support all the students.

The group was honored at the May meeting of the Fort Thomas School Board. The seniors present shared their plans for next year. Staab plans to attend the University of Cincinnati (UC) for architecture, Barrett plans on going to UC for aerospace engineering and Vaghela is considering Sullivan University.

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