Why Be a TSA Advisor?
Serving as a TSA chapter advisor at your school means more than having a “technology club” – it means your school is a part of a national organization that promotes and recognizes excellence in technology students through applied Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competitions and leadership activities.
Each year TSA brings together leading technology educators to revise, review and develop the competitive events at the middle or high school level. Every activity is correlated to STEM concepts and the criteria for participating and judging the competition is detailed. These activities (approximately 30 on the middle school level and 30 on the high school level) can be implemented as competitions at the local, state and national level.
Once affiliated, your chapter receives the Total TSA CD. This CD provides all of the criteria for each competitive event, including the STEM correlations. The Total TSA CD also provides professionally developed Leadership Lessons which are correlated to the competitive events and Membership Materials, which provides the information you need to know for running and maintaining your chapter.
Many state TSA delegations host a yearly competition conference as well as a leadership conference. This gives student members the opportunity to test their technology skills, and many students then choose to compete at the national level. Membership in TSA is required in order to participate in any TSA sanctioned event at any level – local, state or national.
Whether working on an activity at the local level, or competing at the state or national level, all students who use TSA materials benefit from being a TSA member. Opportunities exist for chapter, state and national leadership roles through elected offices and working committees. Networking among chapters is encouraged and a mentor program is available for chapters who would like to be paired with an experienced chapter for the purpose of strengthening their chapter and having questions answered.
For most TSA advisors, TSA is not the only organization they are involved with. Many also coach, are class advisors, and work on other school activities. So why do they also advise a TSA chapter? Most would tell you that they do so because they feel TSA offers:
- Leadership Opportunities
- Excellent Competitions
- A Sense of Belonging to a Group of Deserving Students
How Much Time Does it Take? There is no question that being an advisor for a TSA chapter (or any other student activity) takes time and commitment. How much time is a function of several variables:
- Co-curricular or extra-curricular. TSA is designed so that it can be a part of a technology classroom, or can be an after school activity.
- Program of work. This is the basis of chapter activities for the year. The program of work is designed to accommodate the amount of time the advisor and members are willing to devote to the endeavor. Considerations for the program of work include: competitions, fundraising if needed, service project, and social events.
- Organization. Organizing your technology program around TSA can actually save time. TSA is designed to be student run through elected officers – this is often a great classroom management tool.