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.
Participants develop a set of architectural plans and related materials in response to an annual architectural design challenge and construct a physical, as well as a computer-generated model, to accurately depict their design. Participants must demonstrate an understanding of and aptitude for architectural design, the development of plans, modeling techniques and practice, and the awareness of the role that the built environment can play in human behavior and interactions.
Participants select a contemporary biotechnology problem that reflects the theme for the year. Participants demonstrate understanding of the topic through documented research, the development of a solution, a display (including an optional model or prototype), and an effective multimedia presentation.
Board Game Design
Participants develop, build, and package a board game that focuses on the subject of their choice. The game should be interesting, exciting, visually appealing, and intellectually challenging. Each team will have to design the packaging, instructions, pieces, and cards associated with creating and piloting a new board game. Semifinalists for the event will set up the game, demonstrate how the game is played, and explain the game’s features.
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.
Participants create an illustrated children's story of high artistic, instructional, and social value. The narrative may be written in prose or poetry and take the form of a fable, adventure story, or other structure. The physical story book should be of high quality and designed to reflect the theme for the year. The story must have a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focus.
Participants respond to an annual coding-related design challenge by developing a software program that will accurately address an onsite a problem in a specified, limited amount of time.
Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
Participants design, fabricate, and use CIM to create a promotional product.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Architecture
Participants use complex computer graphic skills, tools, and processes to develop representations of architectural subjects, such as foundation and/or floor plans, and/or elevation drawings, and/or details of architectural ornamentation or cabinetry.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Engineering
Participants use complex computer graphic skills, tools, and processes to develop three-dimensional representations of engineering subjects such as a machine part, tool, device, or manufactured product.
Participants respond to a cybersecurity challenge by identifying a breach in computer security via "Capture the Flag" games. Participants solve onsite challenges in a specified, limited amount of time.
Data Science and Analytics
Participants collect data, conduct an analysis of the data, and make a prediction about the outcome. Participants document and summarize their research within a scientific poster and present their findings. Semifinalist teams create a digital visual representation of their data using a platform of their choice, and present.
Debating Technological Issues
Participants work together to prepare for a debate against a team from another chapter. The teams will be instructed to take either the pro or con side of a selected subtopic.
Digital Video Production
Participants develop a digital video (with sound) that reflects the theme for the year.
Participants design, produce a working drawing for, and build a CO2-powered dragster.
Participants develop a solution to a National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge that is posted on the national TSA website. The solution offered will be informed and designed by precise problem definition—thorough research, creativity, experimentation (when possible)—and the development of documents and appropriate models (mathematical, graphical, and/or physical prototype/model). Semifinalist teams present and defend their proposed solution to a panel of judges.
Essays on Technology
Participants write a research-based essay (using two or more sources provided onsite) that makes insightful connections about a current technological topic.
Participants verbally communicate their knowledge of technology or TSA subjects by giving a speech after drawing a card on which a technology or TSA topic is written.
Fashion Design and Technology
Participants research, design, and create a portfolio and wearable prototype that reflect the theme for the year. Semifinalist teams participate in a presentation.
Participants analyze flight principles with a rubber band-powered model aircraft.