Tucker High School
We are Tucker High School.
Tucker High is a public high school in DeKalb County, Georgia. The school was first established in 1918 and has since grown to 1,800 enrolled students. The student body is very diverse with a large immigrant population. We have a variety of advanced programs such as IB and STEM. Our school maintains a balance of academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities. We have both Vex and TSA after school clubs. We greatly value STEM subjects and always put in maximum effort when working on our projects.
The different STEM groups in our school have formed a community of their own. Many of us have been in the same classes together for years now and we have developed long-lasting friendships. We have grown attached to the programs we participate in due to the hours we have spent working together late into the night.
Determination is the will to keep working no matter how bleak the situation may seem. Hard work and determination go hand in hand. It is a concept which is constantly pushing us closer towards the top. Determination requires a certain level of discipline in order to fully commit to the task at hand. We always try to stay focused on a clear goal and work to the best of our abilities to achieve that goal. Of course we do not simply spend our days slavishly working to meet an end. We do our best to create a healthy balance of work and play in order to prevent burnout. Vex Robotics is ultimately a social activity and a great place to meet friends and have fun.
Cooperation is the concept of working together to reach a common goal and benefiting all. It is the glue that unites teams and keeps their productivity high. Cooperation is vital to the success of any team. Without it, work grinds to a halt and meetings devolve into bickering sessions. It is important to learn each other's strengths and weaknesses to maximize results and grow as individuals. Society is built on cooperation and teamwork so building these skills while young will benefit you for the rest of your life. A lack of cooperation can utterly cripple a Vex team.
Integrity is the internal obligation to be honest to yourself and to others. We believe that cheating is totally unacceptable and damaging to your team. Vex is a learning experience and cheating simply cheats yourself out of an opportunity to grow and improve. What is the point of a competition if you choose to ignore the rules? How can one show off a trophy they acquired through deception? We have a moral imperative to stay true to the spirit of the game so that we can develop as engineers. Losing is a chance to learn from your mistakes, not an unsurmountable blow.
Our values make us strong...
But hard work carries us to victory.
As the name implies, attendance on mandatory work days is compulsory. These are the days that we hold club-wide meetings and make various announcements. After we have gathered and discussed, the day continues like any other with people breaking off into groups to work on their projects. Tuesday and Thursday are mandatory days.
Optional work days are less organized than mandatory days. There are no central meetings and everyone spends the time simply working. The purpose of optional work days is to provide extra opportunities to get time-consuming projects done. Typically fewer people come to optional days but some people come to all of them. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are optional days.
That means regular meetings...
And long hours.
But it's worth it in the end, because perseverance yields results.
In the last four years we have earned...
Of course, we wouldn't be here without our dedicated teachers...
The Tucker High Vex program is lead and mentored by William Hicks. Mr. Hicks is an Engineering teacher alongside Ms. Williams and Mr. High. Mr. Hicks has been involved in our Vex program for years now but he has only been in charge for two years now. He is a warm and humorous person who values work ethic. He motivates us to persevere even when unexpected situations arise.
And our diverse body of students.
Tucker High School is home to rich cultural diversity. Families from all around the globe come to our school and share their identities. Diversity opens us up to new perspectives and teaches different ways to approach problems. This sort of thinking is especially valuable in STEM fields which are often far too homogenous, unfortunately. By encouraging this diversity, we hope to raise a new generation of engineers with a unique outlook on the world.
Girls are also full of untapped potential in the STEM world. Traditionally, these fields are heavily male-dominated and can develop a toxic culture. We hope to help remedy this by encouraging girls to pursue STEM as a career path. By fostering a healthy environment at our school, we hope to see the world move in this direction. Already, we have many female members in our Vex, TSA and STEM programs.
Technology Student Association
Tucker STEM Program
Vex is an international robotics competition owned and hosted by Innovation First International, Inc. It is the largest robotics competition in the world with thousands of competing teams. Every year, a new game is developed by Vex and it is your job to design and build a robot to solve these unique problems in order to win. Vex is highly competitive and it is expected of you to put in a significant amount of time and effort. It is an incredible amount of fun and it is very satisfying to see all your hard work come to fruition. If you are willing to take on the heavy responsibility, Vex Robotics is a very rewarding experience.
TSA is a national organization devoted to promoting and developing STEM skills among students. TSA hosts a wide variety of competitions relating to a range of subjects. TSA aims to teach leadership to students who are growing up in an increasingly connected and technical society. In TSA, you can participate in events such as Software Development, Dragster Racing and Debate. There are several conferances held every year where these events are hosted. TSA is less specialized than Vex offering more, smaller scale competitions. By joining TSA, you will be able to take part in fun events and learn about technology along the way.
The Tucker STEM Program was established four years ago by our teacher Ms. Todd. In that time we have done impressive work in our local community and helped to better incorporate STEM subjects into our daily curriculum. We have worked extensively at our local lake, monitoring the ecosystem and trying to control volatile algal blooms. We have created a pollinator garden near the lake and we are constructing a greenhouse at our school. In the STEM program, we have a focus on hands-on and problem based learning projects to teach. We are currently in the process of trying to get our program certified which we hope to achieve soon.
We are always looking for new members and hosting fundraisers.
Running all these programs isn't cheap, and we often have to utilize fundraisers to acquire the cash necessary to buy parts and go to far away competitions. We do not have any private sponsors with deep pockets so we have to rely on the money that we can raise ourselves. In the past, we have set up a table at the local farmer's market to show off our robots and collect donations to help pay to go to Worlds. More recently, we have hosted a car wash at a nearby fast food restaurant in order to raise money. We used the money to help pay for TSA trips so as to lower the financial burden on the school and the students. We have had enough success thus far to continue what we are doing.
Equally as important as fundraising is recruitment. If you do not have money or students then you simply cannot have a Vex program. We spread awareness around our school with recruitment posters. On the posters we explain what our programs are and why people should join them. Word of mouth is also a very effective tool. Members of one STEM club will often join another due to the passive exposure from their peers. All this, along with our new website of course, provide us with an avenue to bring people into STEM and keep our programs alive.