Student Spotlight: Winning TSA Team Leader: Alana van Woerkom

from Pine Crest website

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Type One spoke with Alana Van Woerkom (’20) about her experience at the 2019 Technology Student Association (TSA) State Competition. Alana has participated in TSA since 9th grade, competing at State and National conferences. She competes in the Fashion Design and Technology category, where her incredible artistic talents help her team create amazing garments.

After winning the State and National conferences last year, the pressure was on to create a design that would top the last. When asked about this year’s design, Alana said,

“This year the team was prompted to create three garments inspired by cosplay (costume play). My team and I decided to recreate Katniss Everdeen’s wedding gown from the film Hunger Games: Catching Fire. We devised a way to create two dresses: the LED-covered wedding gown as a publicity stunt, and the feathered blue dress as a hidden political message. For the technology aspect of the competition, my team and I constructed mechanical wings that move up and down using motors.”

Alana and her team had to put in some serious work to bring their ambitious design to life. She said,

“I came to the iLab at school about 6 times on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm and after school every day from 3:35 pm to 6:00 pm three weeks before the competition.”

As a leader of such a large group (16 members in comparison to last year’s 8), Alana faced many challenges in ensuring that the right amount of work was being allocated to each member. This way, everyone on the team could be included. But ultimately, she embraced this challenge by saying,

“The best part of my experience was meeting new people and making new friends. The entire team became friends and we all had a great time working together.”

The close-knit group was able to win first place at the State Conference again this year, ensuring that they would be traveling to Nationals this summer. Alana said,

“I was very proud of the team when we defended our state champion title.”

The TSA team will head to Washington DC over the summer to defend their national title. We wish Alana and her team the best of luck!