Professor & students host high school engineering contest

An Elon University professor and several of her students planned and hosted a regional engineering competition for high school students this semester in which the winning team from Davidson Early College High School in Thomasville, N.C., advanced to a national competition scheduled for this summer.

Assistant Professor Sirena Hargrove-Leak led efforts to host a Technology Student Association’s 2014 TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science) engineering competition. Her students served as facilitators at the event in partial fulfillment of a service-learning component to a spring engineering course at the university.

The Elon Engineering Club served as an official co-host.

Students from Davidson Early College placed first overall in the state for the grades 11/12 division. Teammates solved complex mathematical problems and provided answers to urban engineering questions related to this year’s competition theme: “Engineering Tomorrow’s Cities.”

The team’s performance qualified it to compete in the TEAM+S National Competition and the “Best in Nation” competition held at the TSA National Conference in Washington, D.C., from  June 27-July 1, 2014.

More than 1,000 teams of middle and high school students nationwide participated this year in the TEAMS competition. Participants have a strong interest in engineering, and most plan to pursue a science, technology, engineering or math career.

The Technology Student Association is a national organization devoted exclusively to the needs of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. TEAMS is one of several STEM programs offered by TSA. Membership in TSA includes over 180,000 middle and high school students in 2,000 schools spanning 48 states.

TSA partners with universities and other organizations to promote diverse STEM competitions and opportunities for students and teachers.