Holiday gifts for a good cause

Published on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 by Brandy Kiger Shreve

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Blaine schools’ Technology Student Association (TSA) is cashing in on the holidays.

The student tech group has designed and manufactured a range of wooden ornaments to raise money for travel to the TSA state competition in Bellevue slated for the end of March. 

It’s the fundraiser’s fourth year, and the money raised will help offset the $250 cost for students to attend the competition, 
which promotes problem-solving and leadership skills in the context of technological design.

“They create the designs using a 3-D modeling program called Rhinoceros, and then they are printed using a laser engraver,” said Jim Nelson, director of career and technical education at the Blaine school district. “It’s not a typical process in the program, so it takes some time to design.”

“We load sheets of wood into the printer,” senior Matt Kelley said. “Then the printer uses the laser to cut out the ornament designs. It’s really cool.” 

Each ornament is precision-cut from 1/8" birch board, then packaged into a set of eight, with the exception of the Borderite collection, which is new this year. The Borderite collection comes packaged in sets of four and features the Borderite “B” and the Peace Arch.

“The designs take a lot of time,” Kelley said, “but we wanted to do something new.”

The ornaments can be purchased from any Blaine High School TSA member between now and December 17, and cost $10 per set. They can also be purchased at the high school’s main office during school hours.

TSA is a national student leadership organization with close to 200,000 members. TSA works to provide competition, educational opportunities and leadership development for students who are enrolled in or have taken technology education courses. 

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