During the 2020-21 school year, it’s easy to imagine how hard it was to achieve everything with half of her students at home. But Tseng still made it work. She met with at-home students regularly on Zoom and discussed what they were going to do and how they could still help the team. Despite all obstacles, the teams still made it to both the state and world competitions, even winning an award at VEX Worlds.
Her death was a shock to the entire school and has been difficult to overcome, but her Robotics Club students did not let that stop them from participating in competitions because that’s what Tseng would’ve wanted. The biggest obstacle isn’t the drive to compete, but who will sponsor it? Since Tseng was the only STEM/robotics teacher, there was no one who knew the program’s ins and outs. No one on campus knew how to plan and keep track of events. Who was going to lead and guide now?
But the students and staff at Hill came together in honor of Tseng and have persevered, thanks to several teachers jumping in to help.
Hill Middle School is going to keep Tseng’s legacy and the STEM program going. It is in the process of hiring a new teacher, and currently interviewing incoming students interested in STEM and robotics. Current students and teachers are working together to make this happen.
Despite all of this, several teams have made accomplishments in competitions this year. Teams 505B (eighth-grade girls) and 505C (eighth-grade boys) made it to the national competition, and team 505T (seventh-grade girls) made it to the VEX Robotics Worlds competition for the 2021-22 school year.
The robotics teams will continue to win — not for themselves, but for Tseng.
Natalie Rodriguez is an eighth-grader and STEM/Robotics Club member at Hill Middle School.