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HTHS engineering students win at TSA competition

By Gary Lloyd

TRUSSVILLE — The Hewitt-Trussville High School Engineering Academy placed second overall at the state Technology Student Association competition in Tuscaloosa on April 3-4.

The team of Abby Lewis and Tiffany Lopez placed first in the state in the architectural renovations category, in which students had to update an early 1990s Sears catalog house, tasked with designing additions to an existing home to accommodate a family of five. Students had to prepare a detailed binder documenting all their design changes to the original homes and create a scale model of their updated home.

The duo of Joseph Kearns and Gabrielle Sinsky finished second, and the team of Taylor Elliott and Austin Norwood took third.

The team of Rachel Keaveny, Lauren Townley and Jonathan Stilwell
submitted photo

In the career preparation category, Jonathan Adams placed second in state. This category required students to prepare for three different future careers by creating a resume and cover letters for their future career paths. Students then had to complete a job application and undergo a professional interview for the job. A.J. Ward finished third and Lopez placed sixth.

In the architectural computer-aided design category, Sinsky finished first in the state, while Kearns placed second. Students had four hours to design a small track house. Students had to create an original design and a complete set of drawings, and then defend their design to a panel of judges.

in the 3D computer-aided engineering design category, Gavin Slay finished in third place and Emma Burford took sixth place. Students had to create a 3D model utilizing the latest engineering software. Students had four hours to create a multi-tool that could be utilized in the kitchen.

Isaac Searcy, Amber Gibson and Dalton Smith won the engineering design category, in which students created a working prototype of an original engineering design. The group created a cane for the blind that would help guide them through buildings. The cane is equipped with a metal detector and a bar code reader that will help a blind individual navigate through a building by following a metallic tape path and by having barcodes read to the individual through his or her cell phone.

Sarah Bacon placed third in the state in the extemporaneous presentation, in which students chose one of three technology topics to present on in front of a panel of judges. Bacon also finished fourth in the prepared presentation competition.

Hewitt-Trussville High School students at the Electrathon America race at Barber’s Motor Speedway in Leeds
submitted photo

Taylor Herrin placed sixth in the flight endurance competition, which required students to construct and fly a rubber-band-powered balsa wood airplane.

The team of Rachel Keaveny, Lauren Townley and Jonathan Stilwell won the manufacturing prototype competition, in which the group designed a new packaging system for canned soda drinks. The idea is to have a permanent container that would be installed into a machine to allow you to fill it with the cans of your choice. The group of Michael Beaman, Nick Walton and Chase Wigley finished in third place, designing a toothbrush that you purchase pre-filled with toothpaste.

Bacon and Zach Smith finished in fourth place in the structural engineering competition, and Cody Wilcox and Stuart Brockman placed fifth. They designed and constructed a balsa wood bridge.

Travis Gunn, Eli Greene and Tyler Jackson finished in first place in the system control technology competition, in which student designed and constructed a device using motors and sensors to simulate a part of a manufacturing facility. Finishing in second place were Stilwell, Keaveny and Townley.

Adams, Burford and Vishal Modi took first place in the technology bowl, in which students participated in a Jeopardy-style game.

Emma Slay and Marlee Mason placed second in technology problem solving. Amanda Green and Luke Searcy placed third, and Herrin and Damon Purdy finished fourth.

In the transportation modeling competition, Logan McCormick finished first in the state. Beaman finished second in the competition, which required students to design and create a model of a zap car, an electric car for cities that you rent by the hour or day.

The group of Vince Corey, Nick Garrett and Andrew Patterson placed fourth in the state in the vex robotics category, in which teams designed and built a robot that could move balls and beach balls into various scoring positions on a course.

Last week, the Engineering Academy’s electric race car teams competed at Barber’s Motor Speedway in Leeds in the Electrathon America. A girls’ team and boys’ team competed in two races, both of which tied for third place.

Contact Gary Lloyd at and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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