CCI Students Judge Middle and High School Students at TSA State Competition

Earlier this semester, 11 College of Communication and Information students traveled to Orlando to serve as judges for the Florida Technology Student Association’s State Competition. The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a national organization that promotes technological literacy, leadership, and problem-solving for over 250,000 middle and high school students. At the State Competiti on, students participate in a variety of problem-solving, creative, and STEM competitions either individually or in teams. CCI has been involved with TSA for over 15 years since Associate Dean Ebe Randeree joined the TSA Board in 2008. He now serves as the College Liaison for Florida TSA and works to engage CCI students with the organization.

11 CCI students in STARS (Students & Technology in Academia, Research & Service) Alliance attended this year’s State Conference as judges. One of STARS Alliance’s goals as an organization is to educate and bring awareness to K-12 students about IT/computing education programs, careers, etc. Through events like the TSA State Conference, the members of FSU STARS help mentor the next generation of tech leaders in Florida. STARS president and Information Technology student Maggie Martin-McKinnie shared, “TSA is always my favorite trip we go on as STARS. There is so much passion for tech in these young leaders, and it is exciting to hear about how excited they are to learn more about technology. Many of the kids ask us about college as well, so we get to be advocates for FSU, specifically the College of Communication and Information.”

STARS students also attended the TSA Leadership Conference in October where they led and mentored groups of middle and high school students as they participated in activities that facilitated team building, technological education, and problem-solving all of which helped prepare them for February’s State Competition. TSA students that did particularly well in State’s will have the opportunity to also compete at the National TSA Conference this summer. STARS students will also be present at the National Conference as they have been invited to present on leadership.

Stacci Smith who attended both the TSA Leadership Conference in the fall and the State Competition in the spring spoke about her experience, saying, “The most rewarding part was seeing so many inspirational and intelligent students create amazing and exciting projects across various STEM fields! Being able to witness these students present their projects has inspired me to be more innovative in my career in technology.”

According to Randeree, “Our CCI college students are perfect for engaging and developing the next generation of tech leaders; our partnership with Florida TSA allows us to mentor middle and high school tech students, work with their teachers from across the state, help them with their leadership and communication skills, and talk with them about career options at FSU.”

CCI STARS students that attended this year’s TSA State Competition were: Maggie Martin-McKinnie, Itel Nagli, Betty Phipps, Ashari Penerton, Stacci Smith, Owen Van Lenten, Logan Wiggins, Ryan Surujballi, Thum Rangsiyawaranon, Jai Reed, and Khylle Valle.