The Technology Student Association (TSA) focuses on teaching students how to be independent and innovative with technology. The motto, “Learning to Lead in a Technical World,” speaks for itself – the club teaches students skills such as planning, teamwork, and leadership. Students are given a chance to compete at a regional, state, and national level. The competitions the students do always focus on technology; for example, students can compete in Video Game Design or Structural Engineering.
Wayne County’s chapter of TSA has faced success in many competitions over the years, specifically Video Game Design and Website Design. This year, students are focusing on new competitions. Three students are working on the event “Children’s Stories.” For the competition, the students had to write, design, and add technology to a book. Over the last several months, the students had worked hard to create this book.
Crystal Lair, Sierra Hagerman, and Cas Barnett composed the team that created this book. They titled their piece The Sheep Who Found its Herd. The story featured a sheep who only had three legs. After going on an adventure where he learned about perseverance, the sheep found a farm where a farmer 3D prints prosthetic limbs. The sheep is given a new leg, and the children learn about technology, specifically 3D printing, and persistence. The students decided on this idea as it featured a technological aspect as well as taught students a valuable lesson.
The team spent several weeks writing and editing the story, with the lead writer being Cas Barnett. Sierra Hagerman illustrated the pages with suggestions and ideas from her teammates, and Crystal Lair added the text to the pages. She also handled the creation of 3D printed models the students made with the book to add an extra feature. Keeping with the event’s theme, the team added textile features to the book, making the animals touchable.
Once the book was completed, the team traveled to Walker Early Learning Center. There, they shared their book with three groups of students. The adventure began in Becky Lewis’ kindergarten classroom. The students behaved well for the team and listened closely to the story, enjoying the textile features they were allowed to touch. The team paused often to allow the students to ask questions, answer questions, and feel the textiles, such as the sheep’s wool. The group passed around the 3D animal models as each animal was introduced into the story.
“I liked the bird, it had nice colors,” commented six-year-old Easton Slagle from Becky Lewis’ class. Another one of her students, Noah Vaughn, said, “I liked the spider the most. It had eight legs and they were very soft.” As much as the class enjoyed the textiles they could feel, they also enjoyed the art. One of Alecia Parker’s students asked the main illustrator, Sierra Hagerman, “How did you make it so beautiful?”
The team will be presenting their book to the TSA judges at the Regional Conference on February 22nd. “We really just wanted to give them something we could be proud of and that would teach students a valuable lesson,” said Cas Barnett. Cas serves as the club’s president, and Crystal serves as the club’s treasurer. All three of the students are WCHS seniors who have been in TSA for several years. The team hopes to advance with their book to TSA’s state conference.
Sierra Hagerman presenting the textile spider
Crystal Lair and Cas Barnett reading the book to the children
Crystal Lair allowing the students to touch the fish's scales
Becky Lewis' students passed around the 3D models
The students enjoyed the book's textile features
Sierra Hagerman was in charge of recording the reading for the TSA competition
Kindergarten students were completely captivated by the teenagers and the storybook 'hot off the press'. (l-r): Colton Parmley, Katsya Seng, Cas Barnett, Gracelynn Philpot, Sierra Hagerman, Bella Cole, Crystal Lair, Kindry Smith, and Jaziel Porras Ore