LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The three-time national champion Technology Student Association Chapter from Nolan Middle School was hard at it Friday night, working on everything from robotics to, well, a community service video benefitting the American Cancer Society.
At this point, it may be impossible to predict what every TSA chapter across the country will present at the national competition, except for an American Cancer Society video. All chapters are required to produce one this year, said Nolan TSA adviser Maureen Hudson.
The four-member video team of captain Alana Kelly, Hayley Lotozynski, Alyssa Morford and Payton Rypel is already putting together ideas, contacting cancer survivors and preparing for a video shoot at TreeUmph! Adventure Course, 21805 State Road 70 E., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19.
TreeUmph is hosting the "Climb for a Cure" benefit Jan. 19 with Nolan TSA to raise money for the American Cancer Society that day.
Participants will receive 10 percent off their admission when they mention ACS or Nolan TSA. Ten percent of gate proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.
"It is not necessary for one to actually do the TreeUmph! Adventure Course in order to contribute in a meaningful way to this fundraiser, as there will be food sales, a silent auction and other opportunities to participate," said Ed Kelly, parent of a Nolan TSA member.
But for those who do participate in one of the tree-top obstacle courses or zip lines, they will have a day to remember.
Nolan video team members say they plan to combine the excitement and thrills of TreeUmph! with the sobering fight against cancer.
"The goal is to have the judges in tears when they are done viewing the video," Alana Kelly said.
The Friday night work session was not unusual. Nolan TSA students stay at school late three nights a week to prepare for competition in 33 tech events, Hudson said.
"It's very professional when they go to competition. It also teaches them to dress up for work," she said.
The program is competitive from the local chapter level to the national stage.
The Nolan competitive team was winnowed from 120 students to 42, Hudson said.
"They have to be able to speak, write, create, innovate and invent," she said. "That's exactly what we need in the workforce. We're teaching them work ethic."
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter @jajones1.