Middle School Competitive Events Overview

The following information provides only a basic description of each event. Please consult 2014 & 2015 Middle 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.

Agriculture and Biotechnology Design

Participants 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 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.

Choose one of these careers:
Gaming Programmer
Chief Information Officer
Electrical Engineer
Web Developer

Challenging Technology Issues

Participants 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 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 design and produce 1) a trifold brochure that promotes the chapter, 2) an effective sponsor support request on chapter letterhead, and 3) an 8 Ĺ x 11 inch glossy, two-sided postcard promoting TSAís current national service project. Semifinalists work creatively under constraints to design a solution to an on-site problem.

Community Service Video

Participants create and submit a finished video that highlights their chapterís involvement with the American Cancer Society, national TSAís service partner.

Construction Challenge

Participants 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 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.

Theme: Structures


Participants design, produce working drawings for, and build a CO2-powered dragster according to stated specifications and using only certain specified materials.

Electrical Applications

Participants 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.

Energy Sources

Participants (one team per chapter) conduct research on an energy source selected from one (1) of three areas and develop marketing pieces that will be used to help convince their local government officials and citizens to make strides to implement the energy source.

Environmental Focus

Participants 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 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.

Topic: The Greatest Invention(s) of the Modern Technological World


Participants 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.

Geospatial Technology

Participants (one team of two to five members per chapter) 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.

To obtain the current design, check the National website.

Go Green Manufacturing

Participants 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 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.

Junior Solar Spirit

Participants (one team per chapter, one entry per team) explore an alternative energy source and experience the automotive design process when they research and conceptualize a design, make drawings, build a model from the design, and race a solar-powered car model.

Leadership Strategies

Participants 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 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.

Prepared Speech

Participants develop and deliver an oral presentation that reflects the theme of the current yearís national conference.

Theme: The Spirit of Innovation

Problem Solving

Participants 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) create and produce a color pin design that is appropriate for trading at the national TSA conference.

STEM Animation

Participants (three teams per state, one entry per team) use computer graphic tools and design processes to communicate, inform, analyze and/or illustrate a topic, idea, subject, or concept.

Structural Model

Participants (one team of two members per chapter) research, design, and build a model-through bridge for destructive testing.

System Control Technology

Participants 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 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 demonstrate the ability to use the technical design process to solve an engineering design problem.

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 2014-2014 contest, check the National website

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. A working, interactive game is submitted for evaluation.

Water Infrastructure

Participants (one team per chapter) conduct research on the posted topic, document their research, and develop a multimedia presentation related to the topic.

To obtain the current topic, check the National website.

Website Design

Participants are required to design, build and launch a World Wide Web site that features the teamís 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.

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