Local High Schools Rank Top of the Class at TSA/JETS TEAM’s Competition Held at UC

By: Ashley Duvelius

Sycamore, Turpin and McAuley High Schools participated in this year’s TSA/JETS TEAMS Competition at UC and finished top of the class in national rankings by divisions based on the size of grade level enrollment.

The Technology Student Association (TSA) and the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) held one of their annual TEAMS Competitions at UC. The one-day competitions take place at over 100 locations between February 13 and March 12, 2012 through a partnership with high school educators, universities, corporations, and professional organizations. More than 10,000 students, schools and groups compete in just one day during the four-week period vying for competition day, state, and national recognition and awards.

Several local schools swept the competition. Sycamore High School placed 1st nationally out of 88 teams in Division 9. In Division 5, Turpin High School came in 2nd nationally out of 111 teams. McAuley High School placed 3rd nationally in Division 3 out of 128 teams. Both Sycamore and Turpin High School were ranked 8th out of 816 teams.

For best overall of the 9th and 10th grade level:

High School

Ranking/291 Teams

William Henry Harrison Team A


Williamsburg Team B


Notre Dame Academy Team A


Madeira Team A


Bishop Hartley Team A


Norwood Team A



For best overall of the 11th and 12th grade level:

High School

Ranking/816 Teams

Sycamore Team B


Turpin Team A


Carroll Team B


Turpin Team B


Ursuline Academy Team A


Walnut Hills Team A


Xavier Team A


McAuley Team A


Xavier Team B


Carroll Team A


Elder Team A


Sycamore Team A



The TEAMS program is an annual high school competition that challenges students to work collaboratively and apply their math and science knowledge in practical, creative ways to solve real everyday engineering challenges. After participating in TEAMS, students gain more knowledge of engineering, feel more confident about participating in engineering activities and improve their ability to work with others to solve complex problems.

The TEAMS Competition helps develop “STEM-capable” students in an engaging way by showing them how math and science, with a focus on engineering, are used to make tangible differences in the world.

Focused on a theme each year, original academic and innovative concepts are developed for the competition based on the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges. Tackling these challenges requires critical job-readiness skills such as collaboration, analytical thinking, and multidimensional problem-solving.

The U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has a diverse committee of experts from around the world, who convene at the request of the U.S. National Science Foundation and announce the grand challenges for engineering in the 21st century.  They revealed the following 14 challenges that, if met, would improve how we live:

  • Make solar energy affordable
  • Provide energy from fusion
  • Develop carbon sequestration methods
  • Manage the nitrogen cycle
  • Provide access to clean water
  • Restore and improve urban infrastructure
  • Advance health informatics
  • Engineer better medicines
  • Reverse-engineer the brain
  • Prevent nuclear terror
  • Secure cyberspace
  • Enhance virtual reality
  • Advance personalized learning
  • Engineer the tools for scientific discovery

Grand Challenges has a Scholars Program, a K-12 Partners Program and a Summit Series. In early May, UC CEAS announced that it was a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Carlo Montemagno, dean and Geier Professor of Engineering Education and professor of biomedical engineering, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Dose-sparing, high efficacy vaccine delivery using pH-sensing active microcapsules.” Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Dean Montemagno’s project is one of over 100 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 8 grants announced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The 2012 competition theme was “Engineering Healthier Lives,” to discover the engineering involved in healthcare and medicine. The competition is in written format, with teams of 4 to 8 students facing off during two 90 minute parts:

Part 1: Eighty multiple choice questions, requiring team members to apply math and science knowledge to novel situations. This part asked questions related to the design of prosthetic devices, fluid dynamics and heat transfer in the human body—specifically, blood flow in the circulatory system and how it relates to the design of heart valves—and drug development and clinical trials.

Part 2: Eight tasks to be answered in a short essay format, expanding students' ideas as they explain their ideas for engineering solutions. This part asked questions about what the ethical concerns associated with designing a clinical trial are, what types of materials are best suited for prosthesis and how this can improve the expected lifetime of prosthesis and how biomedical devices can be personalized for different genders.

UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) is leading an interdisciplinary effort on and off the university campus for STEM called CEEMS. It is the Cincinnati Engineering Enhanced Mathematics and Science Program (CEEMS), and it reaches beyond UC’s colleges to inspire and educate high school teachers and students from across the region.

Completing the UC team for CEEMS are the university’s College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services (CECH) and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences. CEEMS is a program designed to meet the growing need for engineering-educated teachers.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded CEEMS $9.2 million for five years. The award is made in two stages, the first three-year funding of $5,324,587 has been approved and the remaining $3,877,805 for the final two years is to be released after a year three review. This makes for a complete project total of $9,202,392 for CEEMS.

These bright students are the roots and “STEM” of our future!

For the complete listing of school rankings, select http://teams.tsaweb.org/teams/Rankings/natlRankings2012.html