- What is TSA?
- Join TSA
- Events & Conferences
- TSA Directory
- For Students
- For Adults
The following information provides only a basic description of each event. Please consult 2013 & 2014 High School Technology Activities, National TSA Conference Competitive Events Guide (on CD) for detailed specifications and rules regarding each event.
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. Click here for 2012-2013 design brief.
Biotechnology Design Participants (three teams of two or more members 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 (one individual per chapter) 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 members 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.
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 members per chapter, one entry per team) design, fabricate, and demonstrate their ability to use a CNC machine to produce mousetrap car parts. The assembled entry is evaluated for the distance it travels and proper documentation.
Debating Technological Issues Participants (three teams of two members 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 (one individual per state) produce a notebook containing a news release, a three-column newsletter, and a poster. All participants (not just semifinalists) work to solve an on-site problem to demonstrate their abilities to use the computer to design and edit materials for 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 may 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 members 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 design notebook, 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 demonstrate the problem and solution in a timed presentation.
Essays on Technology Participants (three individuals per state) conduct research in an announced technological area and?using the knowledge and personal insights gained from this research?write an essay on one subtopic selected from two or three related subtopics designated on site.
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 (one team of two to four members per chapter) 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 (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 or engineering technology teacher preparation as a major. Each participant writes a one page simulated college essay explaining 1) why s/he wishes to become a technology education or engineering technology teacher and 2) what would constitute success in the field. Participants also develop and present a lesson plan.
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) produce an original musical piece that is designed to be played during the national TSA conference opening or closing general session.
On Demand Video Participants (one team of two or more students per chapter, one entry per team) write, shoot, and edit a sixty second video on site at the conference.
Open Source Software Development Participants (one team per chapter) 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.
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, which should include audio and/or visual enhancement, based on the theme for the current year’s conference.
Promotional Graphics Participants (two individuals per chapter, one entry each) develop and present a graphic design that can be used to promote participation in TSA competitive events. The design will promote annually-selected competitions from TSA’s array of competitive events.
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.
Structural Engineering Participants (one team of two members per chapter, one entry per team) work as part of a team?on site with supplied materials?to build a model of a structure that is destructively tested to determine design efficiency.
System Control Technology Participants (one team of three members 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 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 (one team of two members 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) use engineering skills to design and fabricate a CO2-powered scale model of a vehicle that meets the current year’s stated design theme.
Video Game Design Participants [three teams per state (a minimum of two individuals per team), one entry per team] develop an E-rated game that focuses on the subject of their choice.
Webmaster Participants (one team of three to five members per chapter) are required to design, build and launch a website that features their school's career and technology education program, the TSA chapter, and the chapter’s ability to research topics 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 Internet and web history, web design (school, chapter and design brief pages), and research about cutting edge advances in technology. Click here for the 2012-2013 design brief.