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Valley’s Technology Students Head To Nationals

By Staff | May 15, 2013

Pictured from left are Isaac Work, Trey Smith, Amy Mason, Carl Shapple, Colton Ring, Spencer Mason, Rachel Haught, Brett Christensen, Heather Cain, and Jacob Ueltschy.

Valley High School members of the Technology Student Association traveled to Cedar Lakes in Ripley, W.Va., to compete in numerous events at the 35th annual Spring Conference March 21-23. Students, under the direction of advisors Josh Weekley and Donald Taylor, prepared for these competitions for months and their efforts were returned with several state championship trophies and awards.

Spencer Mason and Colton Ring 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. Ring was the first Valley student to be inducted as a freshman. Less than 20 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. Spencer Mason will be the only senior at VHS to graduate with Technology Honor Society honor cords this year.

At last year’s National Conference Jacob Ueltschy placed seventh for his airplane design. This year, his first as a high school competitor, he placed third in the Flight Endurance event at the state level. He will have the opportunity to refine his design to compete at the National Conference this summer. We expect great things from this young man throughout his high school career and also at the collegiate level and beyond.

Exhibiting his knowledge and skill in regards to technical drawing, Spencer Mason was able to secure a second 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 and Amy Mason 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. They were narrowly beaten by just a few pounds and will work to improve their design to compete at the National Conference this summer.

This marks the first 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 bean bags into a trough elevated within a 12-foot square robotics course. The team, consisting of Isaac Work, Carl Chapple, Brett Christensen, and Rachel Haught, worked during Manufacturing Systems class and numerous hours after school to create this remote controlled robot that secured second place. These students will continue to work to refine their design for the National Conference where the competition is very stiff. To qualify for the National Competition in their first year is a very exciting accomplishment.

Brett Christensen and Spencer Mason worked during Broadcasting Systems class and after school to create a video explaining the rules of chess to secure a first place win in the Digital Video Production event. They were charged with creating a video that fit the theme “The Importance of Following the Rules”. They created a notebook that included a script, description, and equipment list and also shot a wonderful video that they plan on refining to be competitive at the National level this summer.

Amy Mason and Spencer Mason worked together to win the Music Production event this spring. They created a digital music piece that would be fitting to be used as the Opening Ceremony composition at a future National Conference. This musical number was created entirely on a computer and is an expansion of this team’s musical prowess learned throughout their careers in the Valley High School Marching and Concert band.

Carl Chapple and Trey Smith, on their first trip to the State Conference, 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. This year’s problem was to have two marbles switch spots with each other without human interaction. A judge commended the students on the simplicity of their design and was very impressed and proud to award them the first place trophy. These students will compete again at the National Competition in this event.

The entire Valley High School TSA delegation worked together to win a first place trophy in the On Demand Video competition. Heather Cain, Amy Mason, Rachel Haught, Jacob Ueltschy, Colton Ring, Carl Chapple, Trey Smith, Isaac Work, Amy Mason, Brett Christensen, and Spencer Mason worked together to film a one minute video in 36 hours using specified props and theme. This win is a testament to the teamwork exhibited by these students and creating a winning video in such a short timeframe is no simple feat. This one win qualified the entire VHS chapter to compete at the National Competition.

All Valley High School students in attendance brought home at least one trophy this year. “The students all worked hard to earn these trophies and I am excited to see what they will be able to accomplish when they go up against students from all over the United States,” exclaimed Advisor Josh Weekley. “These wins are an example of what hard work, dedication, teamwork, and knowledge can accomplish. A special thanks to chaperone Rosalee Ueltschy for making it possible for our female students to compete. All teachers and parents of these students should share pride in what these students have been able to achieve. Our small school has produced students that can compete and win against schools with much larger student bodies, class offerings, and budgets.”

Fundraising is now the major hurdle to make this trip affordable to these students. 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 advisor Josh Weekley.

“ExcellencePrideRespectValley High School Technology Student Association students are living up to our motto,” finished Weekley.