TSA Competitions


        The TSA Competitions for the 2017 - 2018 year is listed below, for both Middle and High School. After registering    
        for TSA, the detailed PDF for all the competitions will be given. For more information on the updates and themes
        for each TSA Competition, go to tsaweb.org. 

Middle School Competitions

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    BiotechnologParticipants (three [3] teams per state) conduct research on a contemporary 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. Semifinalist teams make a presentation and are interviewed about their topic.
  • CAD Foundations  Participants (two [2] individuals per state) have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of CAD fundamentals as they create a two-dimensional (2D) graphic representation of an engineering part or object. 
  • Career Prep  Participants (one [1] individual per chapter) conduct research on a selected technology-related career according to a theme posted on the TSA website, and use this knowledge to prepare a letter of introduction and a chronological skills resume. Semifinalists participate in a mock interview.
  • Challenging Technology Issues  Participants (three [3] teams of two [2] individuals per state) work together to prepare and deliver a debate-style presentation with participants explaining opposing views of a current technology issue. The current year's topics will be posted on the TSA website under Competitions/Themes and Problems.
  • Chapter Team  Participants (one [1] team of six [6] individuals per chapter) take a written parliamentary procedures test in order to qualify for the semifinals, in which they complete an opening ceremony, items of business, parliamentary actions, and a closing ceremony within a specified time period.
  • Children’s Stories  Participants (three [3] teams per state; a team of one (1) is permitted) create an illustrated children’s story that will incorporate educational and social values. The story may be written in a genre of choice. Examples are fables, adventures, non-fiction, fiction, and fairy tales. The story must revolve around the theme chosen for the given year. The theme will be posted on the TSA website under Competitions/Themes and Problems. 
  • Coding Participants (one [1] team of two [2] members per chapter) will demonstrate their knowledge of computer science and coding by taking a written test. Semifinalists will further demonstrate their programming knowledge by participating in an on-site programming challenge. Details about the on-site challenge (e.g., programming language to be used and practice problems) can be found on the TSA website under Themes and Problems.
  • Community Service Video  Participants (one [1] team per chapter; entries may be submitted by an individual or group) create and submit a video that depicts the local TSA chapter’s service with the American Cancer Society, national TSA’s community service partner.
  • Construction Challenge  Participants (one [1] team per chapter) submit a scale model/prototype with a portfolio that documents the use of their leadership and technical skills to fulfill an identified community need related to construction. Semifinalists discuss their projects in a presentation and an interview.
  • Digital Photography Participants (three [3] individuals per state) produce a digital album consisting of color or black and white digital photographs that represent or relate to a chosen theme (posted on the TSA website under Competitions/Themes and Problems) and place the album on a storage device (USB flash drive) for submission. Semifinalists produce a series of digital photographs taken at the conference site that are edited appropriately for the on-site task. Details about the currect year's theme can be found on the TSA website under Themes and Problems.
  • Dragster  Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter; one [1] entry per individual) design and produce a race-worthy CO2-powered dragster according to stated specifications, using only specified materials. Special design requirements will be posted for this event on the TSA website under Competitions/Themes and Problems
  • Electrical Applications  Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) take a written test of basic electrical and electronic theory. Semifinalists assemble a specific circuit from a schematic diagram using their own kit and make required electrical measurements, and explain their solution during an interview.
  • Essays on Technology Participants (three [3] 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 one subtopic that is designated on site.
  • Flight  Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter; one [1] entry per individual) study the principles of flight and design in order to fabricate a glider that stays in flight for the greatest elapsed time. The glider must be designed to be launched from a catapult that is provided on site. The design process is documented in a portfolio that is submitted for evaluation.
  • Forensic Technology  Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) take a written test of basic forensic science theory to qualify as semifinalists. Semifinalists demonstrate their ability to use forensic technology and skills by collecting evidence from – and analyzing – a mock crime scene.
  • Inventions and Innovations  Participants (one [1] team of at least three [3] individuals per chapter; one [1] entry per team) investigate and determine the need for an invention or innovation of a device, system, or process, and then brainstorm ideas for a possible solution. Semifinalists make an oral presentation to a panel of judges (who act as venture capitalist investors) to persuade the panel to invest in their invention/innovation.
  • Junior Solar Sprint  Participants (one [1] team of two to four [2-4] per chapter, one [1] entry per team) apply STEM concepts, creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills as they design, construct, and race a solar-powered model car.
  • Leadership Strategies  Participants (one [1] team of three [3] individuals per chapter) demonstrate leadership and team skills by preparing a presentation based on a selected challenge the officers of a TSA chapter might encounter.
  • Mass Production  Participants (one [1] team of at least two [2] individuals) manufacture a marketable product related to the current year’s theme, which can be found on the TSA website under Themes and Problems. The team submits a documentation portfolio of the activities involved and three identical products made during the manufacturing process.
  • Mechanical Engineering Participants (one [1] team of three to six [3-6] individuals per chapter; one [1] entry per team) will design and build a "Rube Goldberg" mechanical device. This device will contain three (3) subsystems within a larger system. Each subsystem will contain all six (6) simple machines in a fun and inventive way. The final solution or grand finale is open-ended to maximize creativity. The transfer of energy in a device will travel a specific path from start to finish for a minimum of seven(7) seconds per board. The device must be self-powered utilizing kinetic energy. The device must be capable of repeated demonstrations without long setup times. Semifinalists participate in a presantation interview. 
  • Medical Technology  Participants (three [3] teams of at least two [2] individuals per state; one [1] entry per team) conduct research on a contemporary medical technology issue of their choosing, document their research, and create a display. If appropriate, a model or prototype depicting an aspect of the issue may be included in the display. Semifinalists give a presentation.
  • Microcontroller Design  Participants (one [1] team of three to five [3-5] individuals per chapter) develop a working digital device (product) with real-world applications. Through a multimedia presentation, product demonstration, and documentation, the team demonstrates in detail its knowledge of microcontroller programming, simple circuitry, and product design and marketing. The project should have educational and social value, and conform to the theme for the year. The theme will be posted on the TSA website (www.tsaweb.org) under Competitions/Themes and Problems. Teams demonstrate and promote their work in a timed presentation.
  • Off the Grid Throughout the world, people are working to become more self-sustaining when it comes to landscaping and architectural design. Sometimes the purpose is to live off the grid, and other times it is to create a smaller carbon footprint. There are many options throughout the world, but sometimes a location limits or enables those options. In this event, participants conduct research on a sustainable architectural design for a home in a country of the team's choosing (other than their home country). 
  • Participants (three [3] teams per state) will create a display and a model. The model can be of the home the team designed or of a specific aspect of their design. Semifinalist teams will give a presentation and are interviewed about their design. The design brief for this competition will be posted on the TSA website under Competitions/Themes and Problems.
  • Prepared Speech  Participants (one individual per chapter) deliver a speech 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 problem provided on site.
  • Promotional Marketing  Participants (one [1] individual per chapter; one (1) entry each) create marketing tools that could be used in a TSA Promotional Kit. The theme and required elements for this event will be posted on the TSA website under Competitions/Themes and Problems. The toolkit components will be digitally submitted on a USB flash drive in an envelope, both labeled with the student's identification number. Semifinalists are asked to work creatively under constraints to design a solution to a problem given on site, using their own computer/laptop work station. Semifinalist entries will be saved to the individual's event USB drive for judging.
  • STEM Animation  Participants ( three [3] teams per state; one [1] entry per team) use computer graphics tools and design processes (i.e., animation) to communicate, inform, analyze and/or illustrate a topic, idea, subject, or concept that focuses on one (1) or more of the following areas: science, technology, engineering, or mathematics; sound may accompany graphic images. Participants will find the current year's theme posted on the TSA website (www.tsaweb.org) under Competitions/Themes and Problems for this information. A documentation portfolio and a USB flash drive with the STEM animation comprise the entry. Semifinalists make a presentation.
  • Structural Engineering  Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter may participate, one [1] entry per team) apply the principles of structural design and engineering through basic research, design, construction, and destructive testing to determine the design efficiency of a structure. Details about the structure and information related to it will be posted on the TSA website (www.tsaweb.org) under Competitions/Themes and Problems. The on-site semifinalist problem will be a variation of the pre-conference problem posted on the TSA website.
  • System Control Technology  Participants(one [1] team of three [3] individuals per state may participate, one [1)] entry per team) use a team approach to develop a computer-controlled model solution to a given problem, typically one based on 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 leave instructions for judges to operate the device.
  • Tech Bowl  Participants (one [1] team of three [3] individuals per chapter) demonstrate their knowledge of TSA and concepts addressed in the technology content standards by completing a written objective test; semifinalist teams participate in a question/response, head-to-head competition.
  • Technical Design  Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) demonstrate their ability to use the technical design process to solve an engineering design problem on site at the conference.
  • Video Game Design   Participants (one [1] team of two to six [2-6] individuals per chapter; one [1] entry per team) develop, build, and launch an E-rated, online game that focuses on the subject of their choice. The game should be interesting, exciting, visually appealing, and intellectually challenging. The game and all required documentation must be submitted — and will be evaluated — online, pre-conference. Semifinalist teams (list posted at the conference) participate in an on-site interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise they gained during the development of the game.
  • Website Design Participants (one [1] team of three to six [3-6] individuals per chapter; one entry per team) design, build, and launch a website that features the team's ability to incorporate the elements of website design, graphic layout, and proper coding techniques. The design brief for this event will be posted on the TSA website (www.tsaweb.org) under Competitions/Themes and Problems. Semifinalists (determined prior to the conference) participate in an on-site conference interview, with an emphasis on web design as it pertains to their solution, to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained during the development of the website.

High School Competitions

  • 3D Animation  Participants (three [3] teams of two [2] members per state) demonstrate their knowledge of 3D animation technology and design skills to creatively solve the challenge posted on the national TSA website.
  • Animatronics  Participants (one [1] team per chapter) 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 Design  Participants (one [1] team, or one [1] individual, per chapter; one entry per team or individual) 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 [3] teams of two to six [2-6] members per state) select a contemporary biotechnology problem (that relates to the current year’s published topic) and demonstrate understanding of it through documented research, the development of a solution, a display (including an optional model or prototype), and an effective multimedia presentation.
  • Chapter Team  Participants (one [1] team of six [6] members per chapter) take a written parliamentary procedures test in order to qualify for the semifinals, in which they complete an opening ceremony, items of business, parliamentary actions, and a closing ceremony within a specified time period.
  • Children’s Stories  Participants (one [1] team, or one [1] individual, per chapter) create an illustrated children's story of high artistic, instructional, and social value. The narrative may be written in prose or poetry and take the form of a fable, adventure story, or other structure. The physical story book should be of high quality and designed to meet the year’s given theme. The story must have a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focus.
  • Coding  Participants (one [1] individual, or one [1] team of two to three [2-3] members, per chapter) respond to an annual coding-related design challenge by developing a software program that will accurately address an on-site problem in a specified, limited amount of time.
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Architecture  Participants (two [2] individuals per state) use complex computer graphic skills, tools, and processes to develop representations of architectural subjects, such as foundation and/or floor plans, and/or elevation drawings, and/or details of architectural ornamentation or cabinetry.
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD)Engineering  Participants (two [2] individuals per state) use complex computer graphic skills, tools, and processes to develop three-dimensional representations of engineering subjects such as a machine part, tool, device, or manufactured product.
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)  Participants (one [1] team of two [2] members per chapter) design, fabricate, and use Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) to create a promotional TSA product that will showcase the current conference city and/or state.
  • Debating Technological Issues  Participants (three [3] teams of two [2] members per state) work together to prepare for a debate against a team from another chapter. The teams will be instructed to take either the Pro or Con side of a selected subtopic.
  • Digital Video Production  Participants (three [3] teams per state; an individual may participate solo in this team event) develop a public service announcement and a digital video (with sound) that focuses on the given year’s theme.
  • Dragster Design  Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter; one [1] try per individual) design, produce a working drawing for, and build a CO2-powered dragster.
  • Engineering Design  Participants (three [3] teams of three [3] or more members per state) develop a solution to a National Academy of Engineering grand challenge that is posted on the national TSA website. The solution offered will be informed and designed by precise problem definition, thorough research, creativity, experimentation (when possible), and the development of documents and appropriate models (mathematical, graphical, and/or physical prototype/model). Semifinalist teams present and defend their proposed solution to a panel of judges.
  • Essays on Technology  Participants (three [3] individuals per state) write a research-based essay (using two or more sources provided on-site) that makes insightful connections about a current technological topic.
  • Extemporaneous Speech  Participants (three [3] individuals per state) verbally communicate their knowledge of technology or TSA subjects by giving a speech after having drawn a card on which a technology or TSA topic is written.
  • Fashion Design and Technology  Participants (three [3] teams of two to four [2-4] members per state) research, design, and create a portfolio and wearable prototype that reflect the current year’s theme. Semifinalist teams participate in a presentation/interview in which they present their garment designs to judges.
  • Flight Endurance  Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter; one [1] entry per individual) analyze flight principles with a rubber band-powered model aircraft.
  • Future Technology Teacher  Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter) investigate technology education preparation programs in higher education and test their potential as a future technology educator.
  • Music Production Participants (three [3] teams per state; an individual may participate solo in this team event) 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 [1] team of two to six [2-6] members per chapter) write, shoot, and edit a 60-second video on site during the conference.
  • Photographic Technology  Participants (one [1] individual per chapter) demonstrate understanding of and expertise in using photographic and imaging technology processes to convey a message based on a theme. Semifinalists record images and then utilize graphic editing software to prepare a single final image as a solution to an on-site prompt.
  • Prepared Presentation  Participants (three [3] individuals per state) deliver an oral presentation, using a digital slide deck, on an topic provided on-site.
  • Promotional Design  Participants (three [3] individuals per state) use computerized graphic communications layout and design skills in the production of a promotional resource for TSA.
  • Scientific Visualization (SciVis)  Participants (three [3] teams per state; an individual may participate solo in this team event) use either 2D or 3D computer graphics tools and design processes to communicate, inform, analyze, and/or illustrate a STEM topic, idea, subject, or concept.
  • Software Development  Participants (one [1] team per chapter) use knowledge of cutting-edge technologies, algorithm design, problem-solving principles, effective communication, and collaborative teamwork to design, implement, test, and document a software development project of educational or social value.
  • STEM Careers  Participants (six [6] individuals per state) develop a specific skill and complete a thorough project about the skill’s relationship to a STEM career area of their choice. Participants research and prepare documentation related to the skill and prepare a video that demonstrates the skill. Semifinalists participate in an on-site interview to discuss the skill developed.
  • Structural Design and Engineering  Participants (one [1] team of two [2] members per chapter) work as a team to build a designated structure that is posted on the TSA website. Teams apply the principles of structural design and engineering through research, design, construction, destructive testing, and assessment to determine the design efficiency of the structure.
  • System Control Technology  Participants (one [1] team of three [3] members per state) work 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.
  • Technology Bowl  Participants (one [1] team of three [3] members per chapter) demonstrate their knowledge of TSA and concepts addressed in the technology content standards by completing a written, objective test; semifinalist teams participate in question/response, head to head team competition.
  • Technology Problem Solving  Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) use their skills in problem solving to develop a finite solution to a problem provided on site.
  • Transportation Modeling  Participants (one [1] individual per chapter) research, design, and produce a scale model of a vehicle that fits the annual design problem.
  • Video Game Design Participants (three [3] teams per state, with a minimum of two [2] members per team) develop a game that focuses on the subject of their choice. The game must have high artistic, educational, and social value and be interesting, exciting, visually appealing, and intellectually challenging.
  • Webmaster Participants (one [1] team of three to five [3-5] members per chapter) design, build, and launch a website that features the 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.