HOWELL – It was a battle, or maybe not so much, between north and south – Howell Middle School North and South, that is.
The two middle schools competed in New Jersey’s annual Technology Student Association (TSA) State Conference at The College of New Jersey on March 29, a statewide competition that lets students compete in categories like biotechnology, catapult design, environmental engineering, geospatial technology and video game design.
Superintendent Joseph Isola said that Howell Township was one of the first middle schools on the scene of TSA when they first started participating in the program 12 years ago. He said a lot has changed since then, but one thing has remained constant: “The amazing accomplishments from our outstanding students.”
Director of Digital Learning and Innovation Claire Engle said the schools have been participating in the event for the past 12 years, this year bringing home 19 trophies out of over 800 students competing from all over New Jersey, which is 100 more students than last year.
Engle said the North and South students were kind to each other during the competition and would lend a helping hand if they needed extra supplies like glue to finish their projects.
The North team was represented by Mrs. Sales and the South Team by Mr. Langenberger, who both said what an amazing year it was for the TSA program. “For each of them, they have adopted a leadership in them, in which they’ve taken an opportunity to really strive beyond what we do in our classroom every day,” said Langenberger.
Some of the categories that students placed first in were coding, computer gaming, algorithms, stem automation, video game design, website design and forensic technology. Engle said that students seem to really be grasping the language of computers.
Based on the students’ performance at the state competition, seven students will be heading to TSA’s National Competition this year in Orlando.
Other Monmouth County schools that competed in the TSA State Conference included Monroe Township Middle School, Millstone Township Middle School and Marlboro Township Middle School.
TSA is the only student organization devoted exclusively to the needs of technology education students and is open to students who are enrolled in or who have completed technology education courses. It is comprised of over 190,000 elementary, middle and high school students in 2,000 schools, spanning 48 states.