High School Competitive Events Overview

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.

Please check the national website at www.tsaweb.org/Updates-and-Clarification for any updates and clarifications for your competitions.


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 Renovation

 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 the design.

To obtain the 2013-2014 design problem check the National website

Biotechnology Design

 Participants select a contemporary biotechnology problem that relates to the current yearís published area of focus and demonstrate understanding of it through documented research, the development of a solution, a display, and an effective multimedia presentation.

To obtain the current design, check the National website.

 Career Preparation

 Participants 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.

 Students the 2013-2014 school year, students research and prepare a resume and cover letter for each of the following careers:

To obtain the current careers, check the National website.

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.

 Computer-Aided Design (CAD) 2D, Architecture

 Participants 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 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 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 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.

 To obtain the current issues, check the National website.

Desktop Publishing

 Participants develop a notebook that includes a tri-fold pamphlet, a three-column newsletter, and a poster. All participants (not just semifinalists) then work to solve an on-site problem that demonstrates their abilities to use the computer to design, edit, and print materials for publication.

 Digital Video Production

 Participants develop a digital video/film that focuses on the given yearís theme. Sound may accompany the film.

 Theme: To obtain the theme, check the National website.

 Dragster Design

 Participants design, produce working drawings for, and build a CO2-powered dragster.

 Engineering Design

 Participants 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 solutionís impact on a member of their community and on society. 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.

 Topic: To obtain the current topics check the National website.

To obtain the current subtopics check the National website.

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

 Participants research, develop and create garment designs, garment mock-ups, and portfolios that reflect the current yearís published theme. Semifinalists participate in an on-site event in which they present their potential garment designs to the judges on a TSA runway.

 To obtain the current design, check the National website.

 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 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 design and manufacture a prototype of a product and provide a description of how the product could be manufactured in a state-of-the-art American manufacturing facility.

 Product: To obtain the current product, check the National website

 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.

 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

 Students capture images and process photographic and digital prints that depict the current yearís 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.

Theme: To obtain the current theme check the National website.

 Prepared Presentation

 Participants deliver an oral presentation that includes audio and/or visual enhancement based on the theme for the current yearís conference.

 Theme: The Spirit of Innovation

 Promotional Graphics

 Participants 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.

 Options: To obtain the current design brief, check the National website.

 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.

 Structural Engineering

 Participants 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 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 complete a written test in order to qualify as semifinalists. Semifinalists must demonstrate their ability to solve on-site engineering graphics problems using standard drafting techniques.

 Technology Bowl

 Participants complete a written, objective test in order to qualify for oral question/response, head-to-head team competition.

 Technology Problem Solving

 Participants 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 use engineering skills to design and fabricate a CO2-powered scale model of a vehicle that meets the current yearís stated design theme.

 Theme: To obtain the current design brief, check the National website

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.

To obtain the current design contest, check the National website.

Video Game Design

Participants develop an E-rated game that focuses on the subject of their choice.


Participants are required to design, build and launch a World Wide Web site that features the schoolís career and technology education program, the TSA chapter, and the chapterís 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.

To obtain the current design brief, check the National website.