TSA provides leadership, STEM opportunities for Hermes


Lucas Thompson

Sophomore Henry Hermes's dragster design won first place at the regional TSA competition.


Many students at Harrisonburg High School have different ways they seek extra-curricular activities as well as entertainment. For sophomore Henry Hermes, the HHS TSA chapter is where he finds both of these.

TSA stands for Technology Student Association. It is a multinational, student leadership and STEM integrated organization that is designed to give students a look into the world of professional corporate management and certain design challenges related to STEM,” Hermes said. “I originally joined in my 8th grade year. I really started participating because I was already on the Robotics team and I enjoy that, so I wanted another STEM related extra curricular. This would not only look good on resumes but be something I like doing.”

Being so invested in TSA, Hermes has more duties within the chapter than most members.

“If you are a normal chapter member, there isn’t really anything to do besides prepare for competitions. There are officers however, and with being an officer comes more leadership obligations and opportunities. For example, I am the chapter treasurer, so I am in charge of fundraising and getting the money so our chapter can actually go to competitions,” Hermes said.

On top of having these obligations as the HHS chapter treasurer, he also has the competitions to prepare for.

“For me, the best aspect of TSA and my favorite part is definitely the dragster design competition. This is one where you build a carbon dioxide powered dragster and send it along a track alongside others, and see who built the fastest one. Dragster design is one of the most well known competitions in TSA,” Hermes said. “On the other hand, the worst part of TSA for me, and this is because I’m kind of a perfectionist, is that our chapter and maybe all chapters of TSA, tend to attract people who don’t actually want to do anything, so you get a bunch of slackers and that makes me a little mad. That’s probably the worst thing I can think of.”

After preparing for the regional competition since the beginning of the school year, the HHS chapter was more than prepared, and it showed in what they achieved.

“The valley region competition was on March 2nd, and the HHS chapter did very well. I think we sent 18 members and we brought home 19 trophies, almost everyone getting more than one, and I placed first in dragster design. The competition itself is the first meeting of all the chapters in the area. There are different competitions in regionals than the ones that people compete in at the state level, unless you place at the regional competitions. The most popular competitions this year were extemporaneous speech, which is an open-ended, free public speaking one and then also dragster like I mentioned,” Hermes said.


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