ATLANTA, GA — Two Heritage Middle School (HMS) students, joined by their parent advisors, recently traveled to Atlanta, Ga. to compete against 8,000 middle and high school students from all over the world in the 40th annual National Technology Student Association (TSA) Conference.

Revant Maridi and Shourya Bansal earned the third place trophy in Inventions and Innovations, putting Livingston Public Schools and New Jersey on the winners’ map of the competition.

The Inventions and Innovations competitive event requires participants to investigate and determine the need for an invention or innovation of a device, system, or process, and then brainstorm ideas for a possible solution.

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Ten semifinalists are selected from among 80 submissions. The semifinalists make an oral presentation to a panel of judges (who act as venture capitalist investors) to persuade the panel members to invest in their invention/innovation. Maridi and Bansal presented a patent pending innovation for their product, which helps improve poor blood circulation.

Under the guidance of their technology education teachers Mike Jeskey and Ken Zushma in April, these students earned the first-place trophy in Microcontroller Design in the NJ State TSA Conference. This was the 10th year that HMS students have participated.

The TSA is a national, non-profit organization of middle and high school students who are engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Since TSA was chartered in 1978, almost 4 million student members have participated through challenging competitions, leadership opportunities and community service.

The conference included more than 60 middle school and high school competitions. Students were challenged to use and improve their STEM skills in both team and individual events in such areas as communication; design and engineering; environmental systems; transportation; and manufacturing/construction.

All competitions were aligned with STEM standards; 10 core leadership skills (communication, creative thinking, critical thinking, decision making, ethics, evaluation, organization, problem solving, self-esteem, and teamwork); and “The 16 Career Clusters.” This year’s conference theme was "A Celebration of Success."

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