The Technology Student Association provides a huge variety of competitive events for middle and high school student in all areas of applied Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Below is a comprehensive listing.
Middle School Events
- CAD Foundations
- Career Prep
- Challenging Technology Issues
- Chapter Team
- Children’s Stories
- Community Service Video
- Construction Challenge
- Digital Photography
- Electrical Applications
- Essays on Technology
- Forensic Technology
- Geospatial Technology(VA only)
- Inventions and Innovations
- Junior Solar Sprint
- Leadership Strategies
- Mass Production
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medical Technology
- Microcontroller Design
- Off the Grid
- Prepared Speech
- Problem Solving
- Promotional Marketing
- STEM Animation
- Structural Engineering
- System Control Technology
- Tech Bowl (Written & Oral)
- Technical Design
- Vex IQ Robotics
- Video Game Design
- Website Design
High School Events
- 3D Animation
- Architectural Design
- Biotechnology Design
- Chapter Team (Written and Oral)
- Children’s Stories
- Computer-Aided Design, Architecture
- Computer-Aided Design, Engineering
- Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
- Debating Technological Issues
- Digital Video Production
- Dragster Design
- Engineering Design
- Essays on Technology
- Extemporaneous Speech
- Fashion Design and Technology
- Flight Endurance
- Future Technology Teacher
- Music Production
- On Demand Video
- Photographic Technology
- Prepared Presentation
- Promotional Design
- Scientific Visualization (SciVis)
- Software Development
- STEM Careers
- Structural Engineering and Design
- System Control Technology
- Technology Bowl (Written and Oral)
- Technology Problem Solving
- Transportation Modeling
- TSA TEAMS Competition
- TSA VEX Robotics Competition
- Video Game Design
Middle School Events
Biotechnology Participants 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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  team of two  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.
Geospatial Technology Participants 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.
Inventions and Innovations Participants 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 apply STEM concepts, creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills as they design, construct, and race a solar-powered model car.
Leadership Strategies Participants 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 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 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 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 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 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 deliver a speech that reflects the theme of the current year’s national conference.
Problem Solving Participants use problem solving skills to develop a finite solution to a problem provided on site.
Promotional Marketing Participants 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 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 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 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 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 demonstrate their ability to use the technical design process to solve an engineering design problem on site at the conference.
Video Game Design Participants 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 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 Events
3D Animation Participants demonstrate their knowledge of 3D animation technology and design skills to creatively solve the challenge posted on the national TSA website.
Biotechnology Design Participant select a contemporary biotechnology problem (that relates to the current years 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.
Animatronics Participants 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 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. Go to http://tsaweb.org/Themes-and-Problems to find out the theme for 2017.
Chapter Team Participants take a written parliamentary procedures test in order to proceed to the semifinals. 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 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
Coding Participants 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 create representations, sch as foundation and/or floor plans, and/or elevation drawings, and/or details of architectural ornamentation or cabinetry. Students may be expected to animate a presentation of their entry.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Engineering Participants create 3D computer model(s) of an engineering or machine object, such as a machine part, tool, device, or manufactured product. Students may be expected to animate a portion of their model.
Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Participants 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 debate against a team/s from another chapter in order to advance to the semifinals. The teams are instructed on site to take either the pro or con side of a topic that is designated annually.
Digital Video Production Participants develop a digital video/film that focuses on the given year’s theme. Sound may accompany the film. Several examples are available in the National TSA Video Library.
Dragster Design Participants design, produce working drawings for, and build a CO2-powered dragster.
Engineering Design Participants work as part of a team to solve a design problem. Through use of a model/prototype, display, and design notebook, the team explains in detail how it has solved the problem and the solution’s impact on society and the environment. Semifinalists demonstrate the problem and solution in a timed presentation.
Essays on Technology Participants conduct research in an announced technological area and, using the knowledge and personal insights gained from this research, write a persuasive essay on one subtopic selected from two or three related subtopics designated on site.
Extemporaneous Speech Participants 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 and Technology Participants research, develop and create garment designs, garment mock-ups, and portfolios that reflect the current year’s published theme. Semifinalists participate in an on-site event in which they present their potential garment designs to the judges on a TSA runway.
Flight Endurance Participants analyze flight principles with a rubber band-powered model aircraft.
Future Technology Teacher Participants research and select three accredited colleges or universities that offer technology education or engineering technology teacher preparation as a major. Each participant must write a one page simulated college essay about the wish to become a teacher in either major. Participants also develop and present a lesson plan.
Music Production Participants produce a musical piece that is designed to be played during the national TSA conference opening or closing general sessions.
On Demand Video Participants write, shoot, and edit a sixty second video during the conference in this on-site event.
Photographic Technology Students capture images and process photographic and digital prints that depict the current year’s published theme. Twelve (12) qualifying semifinalists participate in an on-site event in which they capture digital images and utilize multimedia software to prepare a storyboard/outline and media presentation of newsworthy TSA conference activities and events.
Prepared Presentation Participants deliver an oral presentation that includes audio and/or visual enhancement based on the theme for the current year’s conference.
Promotional Design Participants use computerized graphic communications layout and design skills in the production of a promotional resource for TSA..
Scientific and Technical Visualization (SciVis) Participants develop a visualization focusing on a subject or topic from one or more of the following areas: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Software Development Participants work as part of a team to participate in the development, debugging, and documentation of a new or existing open source software project. Through a multimedia presentation and notebook, the team explains in detail how it has contributed to the project.
STEM Careers Participants develop a 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 interview to discuss the skill developed.
Structural Engineering Participants teams build and bring a model to conference. Semi-Finalists use on site supplied materials, to build a model of a structure that is destructively tested to determine design efficiency.
System Control Technology Participants 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 leave instructions for evaluators to operate the device.
Technology Bowl (Written and Oral) Participants (one team of three members per chapter) complete a written, objective test in order to qualify for oral question/response, head-to-head team competition.
Technology Problem Solving Participants use problem solving skills and limited materials to develop a solution to a problem given on site.
Transportation Modeling Participants, using only certain materials and following required specifications, design and produce a scale model of a vehicle that fits the annual design problem and that takes appearance and performance into consideration.
TSA TEAMS Competition An annual high school competition challenging students to work collaboratively and apply their math and science knowledge in practical, creative ways to solve real everyday engineering challenges.Information and Registration.
TSA VEX Robotics Competition Participants engage in a signature head-to-head robotics competition that promotes student understanding and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas.
Video Game Design Participants develop an E-rated game that focuses on the subject of their choice. The game should be interesting, exciting, visually appealing and intellectually challenging. The game should have high artistic, educational, and social value. A working, interactive game will be submitted on a DVD for evaluation.
Webmaster Participants are required to design, build and launch a World Wide Web site that features the school’s career and technology education program, the TSA chapter, and the chapter’s ability to research topics pertaining to technology. Conference semifinalists participate in an on-site interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained during the development of the website with an emphasis on Internet and web history, web design (school, chapter and design brief pages), and research about cutting edge advances in technology.