TSA Competitions


Middle School Competitions

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    Agriculture and Biotechnology Design Participants
    (three teams per state) conduct research on a contemporary agriculture or biotechnology issue of their choosing, document their research, and create a display. The information gathered may be student- performed research or a re-creation or simulation of research performed by the scientific community. If appropriate, a model or prototype depicting some aspect of the issue may be included in the display.
  • Career Prep Participants (one individual per chapter) conduct research on a selected technology-related career and use the knowledge gained to prepare a resume and cover letter, complete a job application, and participate in a mock interview.
  • Challenging Technology Issues Participants (three teams of two members per state) prepare and deliver an extemporaneous debate style presentation with team members explaining opposing views of a current technology issue that has been selected on site from a choice of three options.
  • Chapter Team Participants (one team of six members per chapter) demonstrate their understanding of parliamentary procedure relative to business meetings. Participants must successfully complete a written parliamentary procedures test in order to proceed to the semifinals, where they perform an opening ceremony, dispose of three items of business, and perform a closing ceremony within a specified time period.
  • Communication Challenge Participants (one individual per chapter, one entry per individual) design and produce 1) a trifold brochure that promotes the chapter, 2) an effective sponsor support request on chapter letterhead, and 3) an 8 ½ x 11 inch glossy, two-sided postcard promoting TSA’s current national service project. Semifinalists work creatively under constraints to design a solution to an on-site problem.
  • Community Service Video Participants (one team per chapter [entries may be submitted by an individual or group]) create and submit a finished video that highlights their chapter’s involvement with the American Cancer Society, national TSA’s service partner.
  • Construction Challenge Participants (one team per chapter) submit a display that documents the use of their leadership and technical skills to fulfill a community need related to construction. Semifinalists discuss their projects in a presentation and an interview.
  • Digital Photography Participants (three individuals per state) produce an album of color or black and white digital photographs that represent or relate to a chosen theme and place the album on a storage device for submission. Semifinalists produce a series of digital photographs taken at the conference site that have been edited appropriately for the on-site task.
  • Dragster Participants (two individuals per chapter, one entry per individual) design, produce working drawings for, and build a CO2-powered dragster according to stated specifications and using only certain specified materials.
  • Electrical Applications Participants (two individuals per chapter) demonstrate knowledge of basic electrical and electronic theory 1) in a written test and 2) through the use of a multimeter. Semifinalists assemble a specific circuit from a schematic diagram (using a kit provided), make required electrical measurements and explain their solution during an interview.
  • Energy Sources Participants (one team per chapter) conduct research on an energy source selected from one (1) of three areas and develop marketing pieces that will be used to help convince their local government officials and citizens to make strides to implement the energy source.
  • Environmental Focus Participants (one team per chapter) identify and research a specific environmental problem or issue that has been influenced by advancements in technology. Students present their findings in the form of a multimedia presentation.
  • Essays on Technology Participants (three individuals per state) conduct research on specified subtopics of a broader technological area and, using the knowledge and resources gained through that research, write a comprehensive essay on the one subtopic that is designated on site.
  • Flight Participants (two individuals per chapter, one entry each) study the principles of flight and design in order to fabricate and test-fly gliders. Gliders must be designed to be launched from a catapult that is provided on site. Flight duration of the gliders and documentation of the design process are the primary elements of the evaluation.
  • Geospatial Technology Participants (one team of two to five members per chapter) explore and gain an understanding of how geospatial data and related technology are used to prepare a profile of a geographic area of interest and solve a problem in a spatial context.
  • Go Green Manufacturing Participants (one team of at least three individuals per chapter, one entry per team) design and manufacture a product using recycled or reused materials. The chapter submits documentation of chapter activities and two product samples made during the manufacturing experience.
  • Inventions and Innovations Participants (one team [with a minimum of three individuals] per chapter, one entry per team) investigate and determine the need for an invention or innovation of a device, system or process. Team members will 1) create a prototype or model, 2) develop a standalone multimedia presentation and 3) document work completed as they prepare to promote and demonstrate their idea for the invention or innovation. Semifinalists make an oral presentation to a panel of judges who will act as a group of venture capitalists interested in providing funding for the development of the idea.
  • Junior Solar Sprint Participants (one team per chapter, one entry per team) explore an alternative energy source and experience the automotive design process when they research and conceptualize a design, make drawings, build a model from the design, and race a solar-powered car model.
  • Leadership Strategies Participants (one team of three individuals per chapter) work in teams to develop a plan of action that addresses a specific challenging situation provided on site. Under time constraints, semifinalists develop a plan for a second situation and then make a team presentation.
  • Medical Technology Issues Participants (three teams per state [two or more participants per team], one entry per team) conduct research on a contemporary medical technology issue of their choosing, document their research and create a display. The information gathered may include student-performed research or a re-creation or simulation of research performed by the scientific community. If appropriate, a model or prototype depicting some aspect of the issue may be included in the display.
  • Prepared Speech Participants (one individual per chapter) develop and deliver an oral presentation that reflects the theme of the current year’s national conference.
  • Problem Solving Participants (one team of two individuals per chapter) use problem solving skills to develop a finite solution to a stated problem given on site. Participants work as a team to provide the best solution, which is measured objectively.
  • Promotional Design Participants (two individuals per chapter, one entry per individual) create and produce a color pin design that is appropriate for trading at the national TSA conference.
  • STEM Animation Participants (three teams per state, one entry per team) use computer graphic tools and design processes to communicate, inform, analyze and/or illustrate a topic, idea, subject, or concept.
  • Structural Model Participants (one team of two members per chapter) research, design, and build a model-through bridge for destructive testing.
  • System Control Technology Participants (one team of three members per state, one entry per team) develop a computer- controlled model solution to a problem provided on site. Typically, the problem is a scenario of a situation in an industrial setting that requires a solution. Teams analyze the problem, build a computer-controlled mechanical model, program the model, explain the program and mechanical features of the model-solution, and leave instructions for operating the device.
  • Tech Bowl Participants (one team of three individuals per chapter) are required to complete a written objective examination to qualify for the oral question/response, head-to-head team competition phase of the event.
  • Technical Design Participants (one team of two individuals per chapter) demonstrate the ability to use the technical design process to solve an engineering design problem.
  • Video Game Design Participants [one team (of at least two participants) per chapter, one entry per team] develop an E-rated game that focuses on the subject of their choice. The game should be interesting, exciting, visually appealing and intellectually challenging. A working, interactive game is submitted for evaluation.
  • Water Infrastructure Participants (one team per chapter) conduct research on the posted topic, document their research, and develop a multimedia presentation related to the topic.
  • Website Design Participants (one team of three to five members per chapter, one entry per team) are required to design, build and launch a World Wide Web site that features the team’s research about a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM)-related topic. Pre-conference semifinalists participate in an on-site interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained during the development of the website.

High School Competitions

  • Animatronics Participants (one team per chapter, one entry per team) demonstrate knowledge of mechanical and control systems by designing, fabricating, and controlling an animatronics device that will communicate, entertain, inform, demonstrate and/or illustrate a topic, idea, subject or concept. Sound, lights and a surrounding environment must accompany the device.
  • Architectural Renovation Participants (one individual or team per chapter, one entry per individual or team) develop a set of architectural plans and related materials for an annual architectural design challenge and construct a physical, as well as a computer-generated model, to accurately depict their design.
  • Biotechnology Design Participants (three teams of two to six individuals per state, one entry per team) select a contemporary biotechnology problem (that relates to the current year’s published area of focus) and demonstrate understanding of it through documented research, the development of a solution, a display, and an effective multimedia presentation.
  • Career Preparation Participants (six individuals per state) research technology-related careers designated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as falling in the top ten employment growth areas in the near future. As part of the research for the careers noted in the current conference year,students prepare a resume and cover letter for each career. Semifinalists participate in an on-site job interview related to one of the careers.
  • Chapter Team Participants (one team of six individuals per chapter) take a written parliamentary procedures test in order to qualify for the semifinalist level of competition. Semifinalist teams perform an opening ceremony, dispose of three items of business, and perform a closing ceremony within a specified time period.
  • Children’s Stories Participants (one team per chapter; a team of one individual is permitted) create an illustrated children's story of artistic, instructional, and social value. The story must have a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focus. It may be written in prose or poetry and take the form of a fable, adventure story, or other structure.
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) 2D, Architecture Participants (two individuals per state) create representations, such as foundation and/or floor plans, and/or elevation drawings, and/or details of architectural ornamentation or cabinetry.
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) 3D, Engineering Participants (two individuals per state) create 3D computer model(s) of an engineering or machine object, such as a machine part, tool, device, or manufactured product. 
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Production Participants (one team of two individuals per chapter, one entry per team) design, fabricate, and demonstrate their ability to use a CNC machine to produce a device based on a problem posted on the TSA website.
  • Debating Technological Issues Participants (three teams of two individuals per state) work together to prepare for a debate against a team from another chapter. Teams are instructed on site to take either the pro or con side of a subtopic (which falls under a general topic) that is designated annually.
  • Desktop Publishing Participants (three individuals per state) produce a portfolio containing a news release, a three-column newsletter, and a poster. Semifinalists work to solve an on-site problem to demonstrate their abilities to use the computer to design and edit materials for an in-house publication.
  • Digital Video Production Participants (three teams per state, one entry per team) develop a digital video/film that focuses on the current year’s theme. Sound should accompany the film.
  • Dragster Design Participants (two individuals per chapter, one entry per individual) design, produce working drawings for, and build a CO2-powered dragster.
  • Engineering Design Participants (one team of three to five individuals per chapter, one entry per team) work to design and fabricate a device that will meet the specific needs of a person with a disability. Through use of a model/prototype, display, and portfolio, participants document and justify their identified problem and solution, as well as the solution’s impact on a member of their community and on society. Semifinalists justify and demonstrate their solution in a timed presentation.
  • Essays on Technology Participants (three individuals per state) write a synthesis essay to make insightful connections based on a current technological topic.
  • Extemporaneous Speech Participants (three individuals per state) give a three to five minute speech fifteen minutes after having drawn a card on which a technology or TSA topic for a speech is written.
  • Fashion Design Participants (three teams of two to four individuals per state) research, develop, and create garment designs, garment mockups, and portfolios that reflect the current year’s published theme. Semifinalists participate in an on-site event in which they present their garment designs to judges.
  • Flight Endurance Participants (two individuals per chapter, one entry per individual) analyze flight principles with a rubber band-powered model aircraft.
  • Future Technology Teacher Participants (three individuals per chapter) research and select three accredited colleges or universities that offer technology education teacher preparation as a major. Each participant writes a one page simulated college essay explaining why he/she would like to become a technology educator and what would constitute success in the field. Participants also develop and present a lesson plan to judges.
  • Manufacturing Prototype Participants (one team per chapter) design and manufacture a prototype of a product (designated annually) and provide a description of how the product could be manufactured in a state-of-the-art American manufacturing facility.
  • Music Production Participants (three teams per state; a team of one member is permitted) produce an original musical piece that is designed to be played during the national TSA conference opening or closing general sessions.
  • On Demand Video Participants (one team of two or more individuals per chapter, one entry per team) write, shoot, and edit a sixty-second video on site at the conference.
  • Photographic Technology Participants (one individual per chapter) capture and process photographic and digital prints that depict the current year’s published theme. Semifinalists participate in an on-site event in which they capture digital images and utilize multimedia software to prepare and develop a media presentation during the annual conference.
  • Prepared Presentation Participants (three individuals per state) deliver an oral presentation that includes a visual enhancement, based on the theme for the current year’s conference.
  • Promotional Graphics Participants (two individuals per chapter, one entry each) develop and submit electronically a graphic design that can be used to promote participation in TSA-related interests.
  • SciVis Participants (three teams per state, one entry per team) develop a visualization focusing on a subject or topic from one or more of the following areas: science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
  • Software Development Participants (one team per chapter) work as part of a team to participate in the development, debugging, and documentation of a software design project using freely available software development toolkits. Through a multimedia presentation and documentation, the team explains its knowledge of the software development process.
  • Structural Design and Engineering Participants (one team of two individuals per chapter, one entry per team) work as part of a team to build a structure that is posted on the TSA website. The structure is destructively tested and assessed to determine design efficiency. Semifinalists work on a construction problem that is a variation of the posted design.
  • System Control Technology Participants (one team of three individuals per state, one entry per team) work as part of a team on site to develop a computer-controlled model-solution to a problem, typically one from an industrial setting. Teams analyze the problem, build a computer-controlled mechanical model, program the model, explain the program and mechanical features of the model-solution, and write instructions for evaluators to operate the device.
  • Technical Sketching and Application Participants (two individuals per chapter) complete a written test in order to qualify for the semifinalist level of competition. Semifinalists must demonstrate their ability to solve on-site engineering graphics problems using standard drafting techniques.
  • Technology Bowl Participants (one team of three individuals per chapter) complete a written, objective test in order to qualify for oral question/response, head-to-head team competition.
  • Technology Problem Solving Participants (one team of two individuals per chapter) work together on site to develop and create a solution to a problem using the limited materials provided and the tools allowed.
  • Transportation Modeling Participants (one individual per chapter, one entry per individual) design and produce a scale model of a vehicle that fits the annual design problem. 
  • Video Game Design Participants [three teams per state (a minimum of two individuals per team), one entry per team] develop an E+10-rated game that focuses on the subject of their choice.
  • Webmaster Participants (one team of three to five individuals per chapter) are required to design, build, and launch a website that features their school's career and technology/engineering program, the TSA chapter, and the chapter’s ability to research and present a given topic pertaining to technology. Semifinalists participate in an on-site interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained during the development of the website - with an emphasis on web design methods and practices, as well as their research for the annual design topic