More than 800 middle- and high-school students and teachers will call Missouri Southern their temporary home in April 2019.

It’s the result of an agreement between the university and Missouri’s Technology Student Association (TSA) that will bring next year’s TSA State Conference to campus.

“We have been involved with TSA since 2013,” said Dr. Elke Howe, chair of Missouri Southern’s Engineering Technology Department. “We’ve hosted the regional conference on campus, and are very excited and honored to have the opportunity to host the state conference in 2019.”

MSSU and Missouri TSA officials signed the contract on Dec. 6. The state conference will be held April 14-16.

Students will take part in more than 60 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related competitions – including leadership, communication, bio, medical, programming and robotics and multimedia events.

“I asked Dr. Howe how much sponsorship the university is covering to host this event for free,” said Robert Stokes with TSA. “It came out to $11,400. So in order to have done this and paid everything Missouri Southern is contributing, we would’ve had to add $15 to every student’s registration fee. It may not sound like a lot, but that would’ve prevented some students from participating, so we truly appreciate how the university has stepped up.”

The Technology Student Association is recognized as the Career and Technology Student Association exclusively dedicated to students interested in STEM fields. TSA allows students to demonstrate and expand their high tech knowledge and skills. It also offers students opportunities to participate in leadership activities that will prepare them for the high tech, science or engineering workplace.