The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a non-profit organization that promotes education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). TSA provides competitions in over 60 competitive individual and team events for high school and middle school students throughout the nation. There are three divisions of TSA competitions: Regionals, States, and Nationals. At each conference, members compete in events that range from traditional engineering and math challenges to fashion design, music production, and public speaking.
Pictured above: Some of our members after recieving their first place trophy for Tech Bowl
Our chapter meets once weekly, where students get together and work on their projects with the help and support of their advisors. Students are also encouraged to meet with their teams outside of school to work on their projects. Our chapter has been the home to hundreds of students over the course of several years, and has been the host of several state officers.
Mouse over or click the images to find out about our officers
Most of the freshmen at State College Area High School take Earth Systems Science
or Biology. After they complete these two courses, most will take either Physics
or Chemistry, but many other science courses are offered. All core sciences have
an advanced or regular option, and physics is offered as an AP.
The following is a complete list of all the science courses offered at State High:
Most students will take either one of the Algebra 1 courses, or Geometry when
they enter their freshman year. This allows most of the students at State High
to finish their senior year with either Pre Calculus, Calculus, or Statistics.
All math classes are offered at the College Preparatory, Advanced, or AP level.
The following is a complete list of all the math courses offered at State High:
The CTC (Career and Technical Center) electives are designed for students who wish to meet an education requirement for a specific objective. The STEM related CTC courses are broken down into the following categories:
State High also offers more electives directed specifically towards Technology Education:
Augmented reality aims to seamlessly blend the virtual and physical world, a
difficult task. Advance AR technology utilizes multiple sources of data to form a
coherent image. This data must be processed in real time and includes sound, video,
GPS, and graphic creations. AR technology is making its way into the world in multiple
forms, such as Magic Leap. Magic Leap is a secretive startup that raised 542 million
dollars with Google as its main investor. Microsoft HoloLens is an AR headset created
by Microsoft that allows the user to interact with the information that it projects.
Google Glass is another example of an AR headset that had less success than the HoloLens.
Each AR device has certain requirements to be able to operate. Each AR device requires specific hardware in order to work, such as a processor, a display, and input devices (sensors). The processor handles input and monitors output to keep things running smoothly. The display is what allows interaction with the real world. Displays for AR come in a variety of types. They include but are not limited to, optical projection systems, computer monitors, handheld devices, and worn display systems. There is a wide range of ways to interact with AR. Some basic types are head mounted, like the Microsoft HoloLens, and Google Glass. A HUD, or Heads Up Display, like those used in the helmets and cockpits of fighter jets. Other more inventive types of displays are contact lenses and a virtual retina display (both of these are still in development). The most common of all displays are handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets. The specific sensors that provide information for the software to turn into an AR experience are cameras, accelerometers, GPS, and Solid State Compasses. The software that is used to complete the AR experience must be fully encompassing to be able to process the input data and the output data while creating a viable and enjoyable experience.
Augmented reality (AR) is currently being used for an overwhelming plethora of applications. The release of Pokémon Go last summer brought AR to the public. The game, which briefly was the focus of popular culture, was created in part by Niantic, a maker of phone apps that utilize AR technology. Two other apps created by Niantic include Ingress (a similar concept to Pokémon Go where physically walking in real life moves your character around in the game and you travel to points of interest for items in the game) and Field Trip (a traveling app that alerts you when you are near an interesting location).
Some GPS and navigation systems are being enhanced by and based off of Augmented Reality, which makes it easier for travelers to get from one place to another. The most popular version of AR navigation apps is Wikitude Drive, which is currently in beta testing. By using the phone’s camera paired with the GPS, the users can see a live updated route of what is directly in front of the car. Examples of software include AR GPS DRIVE/WALK NAVIGATION and Churchill navigation systems. These are featured in handheld devices along with aiding search and rescue and law enforcement personnel.
The Heads-Up Display (HUD) and Head-Mounted Display (HMD) are typical examples of augmented reality when it comes to military applications of the technology. HUD is used by pilots, which entails a transparent display directly in front of the pilot. This allows the pilot to see information regarding altitude, airspeed and the horizon bar, in addition to other critical data. HMD is used by ground troops, and it is able to provide critical data, such as enemy location within their line of sight. This technology is also used for training simulations.
Medical students use AR technology to practice surgery in a controlled environment. These visualizations aid in explaining complex medical conditions and situations to patients. Augmented reality also reduces the risks during operations, as surgeons are given an improved sensory perception. This technology can be combined with MRI or X-ray systems to bring every piece of data into a single view for the surgeon. The concern being that the projected image and actual physical position of the tissue would not be lined up. Irreparable damage could be caused if the equipment does not perform as advertised. This can affect the exact positioning required for augmented reality to work.
Augmented reality is also being used for Maintenance and Repair purposes. A mechanic making repairs to an engine can see superimposed imagery and information in their actual line of sight while wearing a headset. Complex procedural repairs can be broken down into a series of simple steps. Simulations can be used to train technicians which can significantly reduce training expenses.
Pictured above: A feature in Google Translate that instantly translates whatever you point your camera at.
Potential safety concerns of augmented reality fall into two categories, physical and intellectual. Physical threats include
but are not limited to: kidnapping and mugging, in addition to running into trees, lamp posts, walls, other people, and cars
both running and parked. For example, while playing the popular game Pokémon Go, players have been robbed at gunpoint,
stumbled upon dead bodies, run into various objects, and have been hit by cars. All of these safety concerns stem from the
main characteristic of AR which requires that the user constantly shift focus from the real world to the piece of technology
being used. If too much focus is given to the piece of technology, then the user pays little to no attention to their
surroundings. When the user pays little or no attention to their surroundings, that is when they stop noticing objects and
events around them which they can then run into, this can occur while using any form of AR, not just games.
Intellectual threats are a little harder to pin down and will create legislative and enforcement issues. Fake news has been a hot subject this past year. Imagine if it was always there, always spinning the story one way or another, always one message being broadcast over and over again. What will the subliminal marketing and constant presence of AR do to the intellectual freedom of humans?
As time goes on, the technology will continue to improve exponentially, developing new ideas and abilities. Devices used for augmented reality, such as HoloLens, are expected to become more compact and intelligent. Navigational uses will improve to become more accurate and precise. The potential applications of AR can be discussed for hours on end. AR could be used in archeology, potentially allowing archaeologists to recreate archaeological sites, like the Roman city Pompeii, as they might have appeared thousands of years ago. Augmented reality could also be used in architecture, projecting structures onto a geographic location, which would make the creation and design process of structures much simpler. This is similar to the current use of AR, geo-referencing construction sites. Currently, it allows city planners to visualize buildings before building them. AR could have many uses in emergency situations. It could change with live updates, which would improve with how the technology is deployed during emergencies, and could change how information is gathered. The future holds an endless amount of possibilities for AR.