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The following information provides only a basic description of each event. Please consult 2012 & 2013 Middle School Technology Activities, National TSA Conference Competitive Events Guide (on CD) for detailed specifications and rules regarding each event.
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. Click here for updated information.
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.
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 (using materials provided) 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.
Global Manufacturing Participants [one team (of no more than six students) formed from the three TSA chapters involved] design, manufacture and package a marketable mass-produced product through a collaborative effort. Two completed products will be included in the display for this event.
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.
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.
Multimedia Production Participants (one individual per chapter, one entry per individual) use their creative skills to develop an animation that promotes the theme for the current year.
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.
Structural Engineering Participants (one team of two members per chapter) work to determine superior engineering as they conduct research and then model and test a structure that is designed to hold the greatest weight. Teams submit their models 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 (two individuals per chapter) demonstrate the ability to use the technical design process to solve an engineering design problem.
Techno Talk Participants (two teams of two members each per state) demonstrate the ability to work together in teams of randomly paired students in order to build and replicate a structure using limited communication.
Transportation Systems Participants (two individuals per chapter, one entry per individual) apply and document the engineering design process and mathematical principles and scientific concepts used in the research, design, construction, testing and evaluation of a rubber band-powered boat. Performance ratings of the boat will be based on a combination of speed and payload capability measurements.
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.
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. Click here for the design brief.