State Officer Blog: Get Ready for States, NOW

What’s Up PA-TSA!

Before I begin, I would like to congratulate everyone who participated in one of the various PA-TSA regional conferences in the last month! I hope your hard work paid off and you are getting ready for the state conference!

Now that the regional conferences are over, it is that time to begin preparing for States! The State Conference is an exciting opportunity to compete against Pennsylvania’s very best in all PA and National Events. What I am going to talk to you about today is not all of the amazing things that the state officers are planning for the 41st State Conference (trust me we’ll cover that in a later post), but how to avoid the “honeymoon period.”

Now this “honeymoon period” that I am talking about is nothing fancy, but rather a trap that many TSA students fall into after an extremely successful regional conference. You see, you place in many events at regionals, and you let your event sit there, with no improvement happening. Before you know it, you’re just days from the state conference with a regionals project that needs some improvement to be competitive at states.  

I am going to discuss some strategies to avoid the “honeymoon period.” As the title states, it is time to Get ready for states, NOW. There is no better time than NOW. First you want to analyze your event(s) from regionals, asking yourself or members of the team what worked really well and what did not work so well. You will want to consult judges feedback forms or ask students or advisors in your chapter for their opinions of your project. With a list of what needs to be improved, you can then begin brainstorming new solutions. It is important to start this process now, because the more time you give yourself, the better your event will be!

Another aspect of the “honeymoon period” that is often overlooked is the addition of interviews and on-site components that are included with events. At most regional conferences, only a part of an event is usually completed. PA-TSA wants to prepare students for the national conference, so events are administered in their fullest. Make sure your teams are preparing for on-site and LEAP interviews. For events such as High School Biotechnology Design, 41% of the overall score comes from the onsite presentation and interview. In High School Engineering Design close to 43% of the total score comes from the on-site presentation. It is imperative to prepare for on-site presentations if you or your team wants to receive a trophy at States.

Pennsylvania TSA, we have 45 days until the State Conference! In order to achieve success, begin planning your events NOW and focus on ALL components of your event. I am looking forward to seeing all very soon, and look forward to talking to you at Stag Pass, the Printer Station, and throughout the conference.

Sincerely,

Julian Ginzburg

PA-TSA Secretary