Penn Manor students bring home state TSA awards

Congratulations to Marticville Middle School student Jaden Smith, who placed first in Pennsylvania in the Children’s Stories category of the Technology Student Association State Conference, held April 18-21 at Seven Springs Resort.

Jaden was among the 14 Penn Manor students who finished in the top 10 in the competition, which included more than 1,900 of the state’s best STEM students competing in a variety of events, from robotics and biotechnology to extemporaneous presentations and architectural design.

Jaden’s performance was a highlight of the conference for Molly Miller, who is co-adviser of Penn Manor TSA, along with Alisha Gerhart.

Although the Children’s Stories competition is a team event, Jaden chose to work solo on the project, doing the same amount of work as a team, she said. While onstage for the awards ceremony, he was so busy congratulating the second-place team, he almost missed his own award — which apparently came as a total surprise.

“He has come a long way in TSA, and we could not be prouder of his accomplishments,” Miller said.

In all, 32 Penn Manor students participated in the competition. The top-10 finishers were:

Marticville MS
Grace Fafel  – Digital Photography, 8th place.
Jaden Smith  – Children’s Stories, 1st place; Materials Process, 6th place.

High School
Ray Gerner – Extemporaneous Speech, 2nd place.
Morgan Cooper, Joshua Gerlach, Aliya Trussell and Christopher Trussell – Animatronics, 5th place.
Bryce Eberly, Max Minnick and Kevin Ward – System Control Technology, 5th place.
Joshua Gerlach, Audrey Ritchie, Joshua Adams, Trey Erisman, Simon Schoelkopf and Christopher Trussel — Video Game Design, 6th place.
Alexander Detter — Prepared Presentation, 8th place; Digital Video Production, 8th place.

Both Jaden and Ray qualified for the national TSA conference in Atlanta, Georgia, from June 22 through June 26.

Congrats to all the students who participated!