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2023 ChapterCon – Recap

2023 ChapterCon – Recap

This post was written by Michael Tepperman, your NJ TSA State Vice President, and Cassidy Brennan, your NJ TSA State Sergeant-At-Arms. We’re excited to share our experiences hosting the first ever state ChapterCon with you!

On February 24th, Biotechnology High School proudly hosted nine schools from across the state and presented teams with a series of design challenges. This event, called a “Chaptercon,” was the first of its kind and a big success.

The Biotech chapter board spent months carefully planning the Chaptercon and laying it out so that it could run as smoothly as possible. This included advertising with flyers, registration, and scheduling. We also collaborated with the state Fundraising and Challenges committee to put together engaging design challenges for the competitors. Over thirty Biotech students, in addition to several state officers and committee members, offered their time to volunteer at the event, and we could not have accomplished it without all of their help.exercise course.

The teams entered and were led to their rooms for the first challenge, which, like all the events, was introduced on-site. Their task: build a wind-powered car with only the given materials, which were craft items such as straws and cardboard. They were also allowed to collect one random item from a table in the control room, allowing for a greater degree of individuality in their designs. This was loosely based on some familiar competitive events such as dragster design and solar sprint. The teams got straight to work on their designs, coming up with some incredibly creative results. At the end of the night, each team got to test their car in front of everyone. Despite the many ingenious and complicated entries, the most successful design was only a single axle and two wheels! 

After the car challenge, teams made their way downstairs for the exhilarating lighting round. This consisted of rotations of different twelve-minute events. In one room, teams played a tech bowl-like trivia game against other teams. Two separate events were held in the school cafeteria. In the first, teams had to guide one member through an obstacle course blindfolded, testing their ability to work together effectively. In the other, teams had to create their own renditions of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, being awarded points for ingenuity, height achieved, and curvature of the body of the tower. 

The event concluded with the last challenge, which was to create a disaster relief structure that could withstand an earthquake and hurricane winds while still protecting the people (cotton balls) inside. The Biotech chapter board put together makeshift devices that could stimulate the two types of natural disasters, and all entries were tested for 10 seconds with each. Teams took many different approaches with the challenge and many structures were able to effectively withstand the tests.

Overall, the Chaptercon event was a big hit for those who attended. Monroe Township Team B impressively took first place, while Union County Vocational Team B and Colts Neck High School Team B took the second and third place spots respectively. This served as the first event of its kind, and though we only had a small portion of the total chapters in the state, we are proud to have been able to help bring together TSA members from across New Jersey TSA. Events like these help to bridge that divide, and we are optimistic that more chapters will host similar events in the future. 



Michael Tepperman & Cassidy Brennan

2022-2023 New Jersey TSA State Vice President & Sergeant-At-Arms