Locals students taking their designs to the state level

Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Alyssa Humarang models a vest made from phone book pages and a skirt made from recycled wire.

LEWISTOWN — The Technology Student Association’s motto is “Learning to lead in a technical world.”

Several students in the Mifflin County chapter are taking that motto to heart and heading to the state TSA competition to show their innovations and designs.

After competing at the regional level in February, students from Mifflin County High School and Mifflin County Junior High School are going to Seven Springs in April to compete in various events and challenges. Several individuals and teams placed in the top three of their event.

High school


Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Amber Schifano models an outfit made from black curtains, sheets and VHS tape.

Video Game Design

Participants in the video game design challenge were required to create a game that has a high artistic, educational and social value and is interesting, exciting, visually appealing and intellectually challenging.

Brothers Hunter and Brennan Kuhns created a game based on an existing game called Portal. Their game projects portals onto walls and once you go through one portal you exit through another portal, all while maintaining the same velocity during entering and exiting. The team earned third place for their efforts.

Fashion Design and


Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Ian Shoemaker models a vest made from a Pennsylvania map that has been tea-stained to look old, representing the 1800s era with some of the detailing.

Participants in the fashion design and technology event were required to research, design and create a portfolio and wearable prototype that reflects the current year’s theme, “Stitching through time.” Semifinalist teams participated in a presentation and interview in which they presented their garment designs to judges.

Team members Alyssa Humarang, Ian Shoemaker, Amber Schifano and Jerri McGuire, worked together to create three garments made entirely of recycled materials. When designing a garment, the team had to consider the materials, the technology and time era that was to represented by the clothing.

Choosing the late 1800s, when the car and telephone were invented, the team created two vests using only tape, an old map and phone book pages. To create the map vest, a Pennsylvania map was tea-stained to look old. The vest featured a defined collar in the front and tails in the back to reflect the clothing style of the period. A Greek aspect was added by using gold stitching, since the team

said the Greeks were the first to record navigation.

“We modernized the vest for our generation to wear, too,” Humarang said.

Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
First place winners in Fashion Design and Technology from Mifflin County High School are, from left, Ian Shoemaker, Alyssa Humarang, Amber Schifano and Jerri McGuire.

A vest was also created using phone book pages, electrical wire and duct tape. Both vests reflect a time when the internet had not yet been invented, and people had to use resources like maps and phone books for information.

To complement the phone book vest, the students fabricated a skirt using communications wire, with some still in its casing, and some uncased, to show the colorful wires. The wires were then woven together using a loom, and then screwed together. It took the team seven hours to complete just the skirt.

The final garment was an outfit constructed from a black curtain, a sheet and VHS tape. The flapper-style dress reflects the 1920s era, highlighting the technology of film and video.

For the presentation, the garments were modeled by the team members, who explained their inspiration and sewing techniques. The team was also graded for presentation. Their efforts paid off, and they earned first place.

Chapter team

Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Eric Foltz won first place again this year in the Dragster Design event.

Participants in the Chapter team event competed in an opening ceremony, items of business, parliamentary actions and a closing ceremony within a specified time period. The event basically tested the team’s skills in properly running a meeting with an agenda.

Team members Ian Shoemaker, Kylie Wakefield, Margo Wolfgang, Justin Jacobs, Abby Roman-White and Alexander Shoemaker had to follow Robert’s Rules of Order to run the meeting effectively and fairly. Team members said participants had to be polite during meetings, asking before speaking and standing when speaking.

“The judges test us if we can make a decision in a proper manner,” Shoemaker said.

Wakefield said, “Robert’s Rules is harder than you think, and knowing it harder than you think.”

The team placed second in the event.

Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Madi Bressler placed third in the Photographic Technology event.

Photographic Technology

Participants were required to demonstrate an understanding of and expertise in using photographic and imaging technology processes to convey a message based on the theme “Humor.” Semifinalists recorded images and then utilized graphic editing software to prepare a single final image as a solution to an onsite prompt.

Madi Bressler took five pictures that reflected the humor theme, including images of a girl making a funny face, a giant foot crushing someone and people laughing. She then created a portfolio of the images, and wrote about the photos, including camera data like f-stops and ISO speed.

For the state competition, Bressler will change a few of the pictures out and hopes to make it to the semifinals, where she will be challenged with a new topic. She must then produce a new photo within 24 hours to reflect that topic.

Bressler earned third place at regionals.

Dragster Design

Participants in this most popular event were required to produce a working drawing for and build a CO2-powered dragster.

Senior Eric Foltz, who won this event last year, said, “This is a very competitive event. There are many specifications so that all racers have level playing field.”

Starting with a block of basswood, Foltz utilized his woodworking skills to carve, drill and sand the block into the race car shape and then paint it to create his car, “The Mean Green Machine.” When designing and building the car, Foltz had to make sure the car met the weight requirement of 35 grams; if any lower, the car may lose. The second area he looked at was the car’s profile.

“The profile is how much of the car is being hit with wind,” Foltz said. “The less the profile, the faster you’ll go.”

This year’s theme was “Going back to the old days,” where the car’s wheels had to be external from the frame, which in turn creates a larger profile, thus slowing the car down.

The final aspect is friction in the wheels. Foltz said friction doesn’t just come from the wheels on the ground, but in the axles inside the wood. To reduce friction, he implemented graphite into the design.

“The design aspect is the most important,” Foltz said. “It’s not only needing to build the vehicle, but design the vehicle, which is what got me first place for the competition.”

For the state competition, Foltz will use a 3-D printer to fabricate a smaller radius wheel for the dragster to increase speed.

Foltz is very familiar with the dragster event after watching his older sister, Ashley, compete in it for many years and winning. He said there were 40 racers alone this year and the competition is rough since it’s something most everyone can do.

“To get into a high place, you need knowledge of the competition and skill of craftsmanship,” Foltz said. “I had time to watch my sister as she built her cars.”

Foltz has been competing in the dragster event since junior high and said the difference between the middle school level competition and the high school level competition is the increase in specifications and the expectation that you have learned something through the years.

Middle school


Several students from the Mifflin County Junior High School also placed at the regional competition.

Tech Bowl

Participants in Tech Bowl had to take a written objective examination to qualify for the oral question/response, head-to-head team competition phase of the event.

Teammates Stephen Brandt, Samantha Alexander and Dustin Bowles, placed ninth in the event. The team said the 100-question test featured technology based questions.

Catapult Design

Participants designed and produced a working catapult that is adjustable and propels hollow plastic golf balls at a scoring target.

Teammates Samantha Alexander and Dakota Crozier built their catapult using PVC pipe and placed fifth in the event.

Digital Photography

Participants were required to produce an album of color or black and white digital photographs representing the theme “Standing out in a crowd,” and place them in an album on a storage device.

Coletta Beeler and Michael VanHorne entered the event individually. Beeler placed first, and VanHorne ninth.

Beeler said they also had to write a 10-page essay on how they edited the photos, what programs were used and what type of camera was used. A total of four unedited and four edited photos had to be submitted.

Dragster Design

Just like Foltz did in the high school competition, Dakota Crozier, Dustin Bowles, Brandon Fisher and Kordell White all had to design and build a car to certain specifications, using only specified materials.

Crozier placed fourth, Bowles placed fifth, Fisher placed eighth and White placed seventh.


Participants study the principles of flight and design in order to fabricate a glider that stayed in flight for the greatest elapsed time. Flight duration of the gliders and documentation of the design process are the primary elements of evaluation.

Crozier built a glider from basswood and placed fifth.

CAD Foundations

Participants had to demonstrate their understanding of CAD fundamentals as they create a two-dimensional graphic representation of an engineering part or object.

Alexander placed third in the event.

Materials Processing

In the Materials Processing competition, participants had to build or fabricate a project using any means (woodworking, metalworking, plastics/polymers, etc.) and document the design/construction process. Brandon Fisher placed third in this event by building a sword using traditional woodworking processes. The sword is “prop” quality for use in a play or video production, not a weapon.


Foltz said TSA is a great way to see what exactly technology is and what it’s all about.

“TSA is the embodiment of what technology is,” he said.

TSA instructor Rebecca Conner said she dreams of TSA becoming bigger that it currently is and wishes students who are interested in art, media and English would join the club. Conner believes many students don’t know that many of their interests can be found in the TSA competitions.

“TSA could hit a wider array of students. We need to find a way to get to them,” Conner said.


Other students who are transferring to the state competition and how they placed in the regional competition are:

¯ Debating Technological Issues, Team A, placed eighth and 10th;

¯ Essays on Technology, Madi Bressler, fifth place;

¯ Fashion Design and Technology, Selina Crozier, Madison Gagliardo and Kristen Taylor, fourth place;

¯ Prepared Presentation, Jonathen Suydan, seventh place;

¯ Technology Bowl, team C, 10th place;

¯ Technology Problem Solving, Madison Bressler and Justin Jacobs, fourth place; and Hunter Kline and Alexander Shoemaker, 10th place;

¯ PA-Safety Illustration-Computer, Seth Everly, fourth place;

¯ Technology Bowl-Written, Joey Rupert, 10th place.

Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Mifflin County High School second place winners in the Chapter Team event are, from left, Justin Jacobs, Margo Wolfgang, Kylie Wakefield and Ian Shoemaker. Abby Roman-White and Alexander Shoemaker were also on the team.

Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Winners from the Mifflin County Junior High School in the Technology Student Association Region 8 competition are, from left, front, Dakota Crozier, Samantha Alexander, Dustin Bowles and Coletta Beeler; back, Stephen Brandt, Brandon Fisher, Seth Armstrong and Michael VanHorne.