Valley High School members of the Technology Student Association returned from the state conference with over 14 championship trophies and awards.
They had traveled to Cedar Lakes in Ripley, W.Va., to compete in numerous events at the 36th annual Spring Conference March 27-29. Students, under the direction of advisors Josh Weekley and Donald Taylor, prepared for these competitions for months.
Amy Mason, Isaac Work, Jacob Ueltschy, and Carl Chapple were inducted into the National Technology Honor Society. This honor is bestowed only to TSA members that exhibit qualities including academic excellence, leadership, competitive success, and community service. Only six students in West Virginia were accepted this year into the Technology Honor Society and they will be recognized for their accomplishments at the National Conference this summer. Amy Mason and Isaac Work will be the only seniors at VHS to graduate with Technology Honor Society honor cords this year.
Pictured from left: Kinsey Utt, Benjamin Tajwall, Hayden Lancaster, Trey Smith, Tyler Williams, Vince Greeley, Amy Mason, Jacob Ueltschy, Colton Ring, Jacob Greeley, Carl Chapple, Isaac Work, Heather Cain, and Cassie Work.
At last year's State Conference Jacob Ueltschy placed third for his airplane design. This year, he placed second in the Flight Endurance event. He was also a mentor to Kinsey Utt who was able to place third in this event in his first year as a TSA member.
Exhibiting his knowledge and skill in regards to technical drawing, Isaac Work was able to secure a first place win in the Technical Sketching and Application event. This event consists of a written test relating to technical drawing and also demonstrating skills in creating a correct orthographic projection. Trey Smith placed third in this event.
Carl Chapple and Tyler Williams worked together to secure a second place win in the Structural Engineering event. This event consists of drawing and then building a model box beam that is destructively tested. The weight of the structure is measured against the weight it can hold before breaking, to determine its efficiency.
This marks the second year that Valley High School competed in the VEX robotics competition at the Spring Conference. This team designed, built, and programmed a robot capable of lifting and placing beach balls and "bucky" balls into a scoring zones within a 12-foot square robotics course. The Lumberbots team, consisting of Carl Chapple, Vince Greeley, and Cassie Work worked during Manufacturing Systems class and numerous hours after school to create this remote controlled robot that secured second place. Their second team, consisting of Jacob Greeley, Rachel Haught, and Benjamin Tajwall, was able to secure third place. The Lumberbots will continue to work to refine their design for the national conference, where the competition is very stiff.
Colton Ring worked very hard to win the Music Production event this spring. Amy Mason placed second. They created digital music pieces that would be fitting to be used as the Opening Ceremony composition at a future national conference. These musical numbers were created entirely on computers and are an expansion of their musical prowess learned throughout their careers in the Valley High School marching band, musical production class, and concert band.
Hayden Lancaster and Trey Smith were able to work together to win first place in the Technology Problem Solving event. They were given regular items such as notecards, tape, and string to successfully solve a problem in a two-hour period of time. These students will compete again at the national competition in this event.
This year marks the first time this century that Valley High School had a winning Chapter Team. Thanks to help from Pine Grove FFA members, and other parliamentary procedure experts, they were able to secure third place. The team consisted of members Carl Chapple, Vince Greeley, Hayden Lancaster, Amy Mason, Colton Ring, and Isaac Work. "Now that our school has had a taste of victory in this event we will continue to learn more about proper business meeting etiquette," said Weekley.
On their first trip to state conference, Jacob Greeley, Benjamin Tajwall, and Tyler Williams worked together to win first place in the Engineering Design competition. The problem consisted of creating a device that could help someone with a disability. They will continue to refine their design to be competitive at the national level.
For the first time since 2007, Valley High School's Technology Bowl team placed third. This event is similar to a quiz show format and the team consisted of Heather Cain and Tyler Williams. Teams normally consist of three members, but their two-member team performed well nonetheless.
Amy Mason, Trey Smith, and Colton Ring worked together this year to film a one-minute video in 36 hours using specified props and theme. They were able to win third place in the On-Demand video event.
Each year schools from throughout West Virginia compete to win one of three Outstanding School designations.
These awards are granted to the TSA chapter with the most honor society inductees and most competition wins.
Through hard work and determination, Valley High School was able to place third in the overall standings behind Morgantown and Tyler Consolidated high school
"Our 15-member team competed against teams with at least twice as many members and was still able to achieve this capstone achievement," noted Weekley. "It has been since the mid-1990s since Valley High School has been able to achieve and Outstanding School ranking."
All first place winners have earned the right to compete at the national competition being held in Washington, D.C., this summer. In the past, local businesses, individuals, and non-profit organizations have donated to VHS TSA. "I am confident that they will continue to help us, but we also will need to step up our efforts with so many students able to attend," says Josh Weekley.
They offer a very special thank you to chaperone Rosalee Ueltschy for all she has done to support the chapter.