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Southlake Style

In its Second Year, Six TAME Students Qualify for State Competition

Feb 27, 2015 01:41PM ● By Kevin
The Carroll TAME (Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering) Club recently participated in a Fort Worth Divisional TAME Math, Science, and Engineering Competition, according to an article on MySouthlakeNews. This was the team's first time participating in a TAME competition and the club excelled in all subjects, including pre-calculus, chemistry, anatomy/physiology, AP physics, AP statistics, and algebra II.

The Fort Worth TAME competition allowed students to qualify for competition at the state level, according to Alice FitzGerald, who runs the club and teaches at Carroll High School. While many of the members placed favorably (see below), six individual students from the Carroll TAME Club qualified for the state competition.

During the state competition, the top students from each region individually compete at their current academic math and science levels, and as a team, address an engineering problem.

"The problem challenges students to develop a solution within a limited amount of time using a predefined set of materials," FitzGerald said. "The Carroll TAME club participates in these TAME competitions as well as other nationwide competitions such as the Verizon App Challenge. To practice their problem solving skills, the students complete mini challenges during club meetings."

FitzGerald earned her BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University. She worked for American Airlines and Sabre for 15 years and during this time became a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute.  A few years after that, she began teaching Technology Education and, while doing so, earned her MS in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M Commerce.

During the 2013-14 school year, student Kunal Rai, a freshman at the time, approached FitzGerald after class and asked if she would sponsor the addition of the TAME Club at Carroll.

Rai had participated in TAME competitions his freshman year and was interested in starting a branch of TAME at Carroll High School. Membership in the club picked up during the 2014-15 school year, FitzGerald said, when students began preparing for competitions. Currently there are approximately 15 active members. This year's team is mostly comprised of sophomores and juniors who are interested in STEM.

"Kunal gathered individuals that he had known for some time who were interested in the same types of competitions and projects that he had mentioned when starting the club," FitzGerald said. "The group has good chemistry and has been performing well as a team, taking students to state in the first year as a club and participating in multiple competitions. These students seem to enjoy each others company as they prepare for the rigor of competitive testing."

The students meet weekly. At the beginning of this school year, two groups in the club entered the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. They had to create an app concept that would be beneficial to society in one of three areas and develop the concept, FitzGerald said. 

Students had to focus on app creation and the process that users experience while using the app. At the completion of this contest, the students began preparing for the Fort Worth TAME Math and Science Competition. To help students prepare in advance, the TAME organization provides sample tests, and CHS students took advantage of these practice opportunities before the regional competitions.

"The TAME club at Carroll has had a great first year at both the individual and team levels," FitzGerald said. "Judging from the creativity of ideas and laughter in their expressions, the students seem to have a genuinely good time collaborating as they design and test their solutions. As an engineer and teacher, it's fun to guide our future engineers in their learning."


Competition Results

Pre-Calculus – Tanner Dotson (2nd Place), Sanjay Neerukonda (3rd Place), Alina Nguyen (5th Place), Vasu Mahapatra (6th Place)
Chemistry - Tanner Dotson (1st Place), Sanjay Neerukonda (2nd Place), Alina Nguyen (3rd Place), Ammar Ahmed (4th Place)
Anatomy & Physiology – Mana Singri (1st Place), Ryan Resma (2nd Place), Neve Polavarapu (3rd Place)
AP Physics – Armand Tadjali (1st Place)
AP Statistics – Armand Tadjali (1st Place)
Algebra II – Neve Polavarapu (2nd Place), Evan Young (3rd Place)