Students from new Technical Student Association

Science Hill students have another after-school group to test their technical skills


A new after-school group will help budding Science Hill engineering and architectural students sharpen their skills outside of the classroom.

Science Hill architecture and engineering design teacher Patty Beuris recently started a Technical Student Association Chapter for Science Hill students. The group is open to any Science Hill student and provides them with an opportunity to compete in different engineering and architectural design contests.

“This will give them opportunities to dive into design-type competitions that have competitive events and test their design skills and what they’ve learned in the classroom,” Beuris said.

The group is a great way to get a quick introduction into engineering and architecture, which is one reason that freshmen Abbie Underwood and Gavin Gizzie joined. Both are currently enrolled in Beuris’ entry-level class, but Underwood said that extra exposure during her early high school years will help her begin to focus on a career path.

“I think it’s really good exposure,” Underwood said. “I know that a lot of us want to be future engineers and architects, so I think it’s great exposure to see if it is a career-field that I might be interested in.”

Those two, along with junior Clayton Ross, will take on the task of designing a CO2-powered dragster that must be made out of a small piece of wood. Ross said that he is excited about the opportunity to test his skills in the competition.

“Often times we make things on the computer and save them, but they’re never produced,” Ross said. “With this experience we will actually produce the car and have a tangible object, instead of just something on a screen. It’s a lot more complicated than what we are used to, but I think that we can handle it.”

Science Hill junior Spencer Schmalzried and senior Evan Essin are both in Beuris’ advanced class and hope to pursue architecture and engineering in college. They’ve taken on the task of designing a mobile tiny house that would be efficient housing for people that are displaced by natural disasters.

Their design idea is to use a recycled 20’x 8’ shipping container to serve as a structure for the mobile tiny house and then use camper appliances to make it feel like a home. The students have taped off a space in the classroom to test their theories and they’re looking forward to working toward what they’ve started.

“I’m glad that we will be able to use all of the things we learn in class to try and complete this project,” Schmalzried said.

The group will go to Chattanooga from April 3-6 to compete and attend the State Conference. Prior to the conference, the group will visit the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to see different environments in which a career-path in engineering could lead.

“Taking them there will give them real-world experience to see and ask questions about a career-field that they might be interested in,” Beuris said.