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Below is a summary description of the 2019 and 2020 high school level TSA competitive events. Detailed specifications and rules regarding each event can be found in the "TSA High School Competitive Events Guide for the 2019 and 2020 National TSA Conference."

In addition to the summaries below, please click here to view the competition categories for the upcoming 2020 National TSA Conference. Please note that state delegations may choose to alter their events for local level conferences. Click on your state to preview the requirements pertaining to your regional and/or state conferences. 

For event entries submitted pre-conference:

  • A link will be provided approximately one month prior to the deadline of May 15th on the Competition Updates page.
  • This submission procedure applies ONLY to entries for the National TSA Conference, not state TSA conference entries.
  • Email verification of each team's entry will be made by June 10th to the email provided during submission.

Each participant/team shall submit only one [1] entry for the following competitive events:

3D Animation Participants (two [2] teams per state) demonstrate their knowledge of 3D animation technology and design skills to creatively solve the challenge posted on Themes and Problems. Participants submit the entry pre-conference by May 15th.

Animatronics Participants (one [1] team per chapter) 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 Design Participants (one [1] team or individual per chapter) 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. Participants submit the entry pre-conference by May 15th.

Biotechnology Design Participants (One [1] team or individual per chapter) select a contemporary biotechnology problem that reflects the theme for the year, which can be found on Themes and Problems. 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 (one [1] team per chapter) 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.

Chapter Team Participants (one [1] team of six [6] individuals per chapter) 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.

Children’s Stories Participants (three [3] teams or three [3] individuals per state—or a combination of teams and individuals that equals three [3] entries per state) 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, which can be found on Themes and Problems. The story must have a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focus.

Coding Participants (one [1] individual, or one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) respond to an annual coding-related design challenge by developing a software program that will accurately address an onsite problem in a specified, limited amount of time.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Architecture Participants (two [2] individuals per state) 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 (two [2] individuals per state) 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.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Participants (one [1] team per chapter) design, fabricate, and use CIM to create a promotional product.

Cybersecurity Participants (two [2] teams per chapter) respond to a cybersecurity challenge by identifying a breach in computer security via "Capture the Flag" games. Participants will solve onsite challenges in a specified, limited amount of time. 

Debating Technological Issues Participants (three [3] teams of two [2] individuals per state) 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 (three [3] teams per state; an individual may participate solo in this event) develop a digital video (with sound) that reflects the theme for the year, which can be found on Themes and Problems.

Dragster Design Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter) design, produce a working drawing for, and build a CO2-powered dragster.

Engineering Design Participants (three [3] teams of three to six [3–6] members per state) 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 (three [3] individuals per state) write a research-based essay (using two or more sources provided onsite) that makes insightful connections about a current technological topic.

Extemporaneous Speech Participants (three [3] individuals per state) 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 (three [3] teams of two to four [2–4] individuals per state) research, design, and create a portfolio and wearable prototype that reflect the theme for the year, which can be found on Themes and Problems. Semifinalist teams participate in a presentation/interview in which they present their garment designs to judges.

Flight Endurance Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter) analyze flight principles with a rubber band-powered model aircraft.

Forensic Science Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) take a written test of basic forensic science theory to qualify as semifinalists. Semifinalist teams will examine a mock crime scene and demonstrate their knowledge of forensic science and crime scene analysis. Students will be expected to survey the scene and use proper techniques to collect evidence from the mock crime scene. Students then will collect their data and perform a detailed written analysis of the crime scene.

Future Technology Teacher Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter) investigate technology education preparation programs in higher education and test their potential as a future technology educator.

ITF+ Certification Participants (one [1] individual with a maximum of three (3) individuals per chapter) demonstrate understanding of and expertise in basic information technology concepts by taking an online exam. Certifications will be granted through TSA’s partnership with CompTIA for a passing score. 

Music Production Participants (three [3] teams per state; an individual may participate solo in this team event) produce an original musical piece that is designed to be played during the National TSA Conference opening or closing general sessions.

On Demand Video Participants (one [1] team of two to six [2–6] individuals per chapter) write, shoot, and edit a 60–second video onsite during the conference.

Photographic Technology Participants (one [1] individual per chapter) demonstrate understanding of and expertise in using photographic and imaging technology processes to convey a message based on a theme. Semifinalists record images and then utilize graphic editing software to prepare a single final image as a solution to an onsite prompt.

Prepared Presentation Participants (three [3] individuals per state) deliver an oral presentation, using a digital slide deck, on a topic provided onsite.

Promotional Design Participants (three [3] individuals per state) use computerized graphic communications layout and design skills in the production of a promotional resource for TSA.

Scientific Visualization (SciVis) Participants (three [3] teams per state; an individual may participate solo in this team event) use either 2D or 3D computer graphics tools and design processes to communicate, inform, analyze, and/or illustrate a STEM topic, idea, subject, or concept.

Software Development Participants (one [1] team per chapter) use knowledge of cutting-edge technologies, algorithm design, problem-solving principles, effective communication, and collaborative teamwork to design, implement, test, and document a software development project of educational or social value.

Structural Design and Engineering Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) work as a team to build a designated structure that is posted on the TSA website. Teams apply the principles of structural design and engineering through research, design, construction, destructive testing, and assessment to determine the design efficiency of the structure.

System Control Technology Participants (one [1] team of three [3] individuals per state) work onsite 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.

Technology Bowl Participants (one [1] team of three [3] individuals per chapter) demonstrate their knowledge of TSA and concepts addressed in the technology content standards by completing a written, objective test. Semifinalist teams participate in question/response, head-to-head team competition.

Technology Problem Solving Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) use their skills in problem solving to develop a finite solution to a problem provided onsite.

Transportation Modeling Participants (one [1] individual per chapter) research, design, and produce a scale model of a vehicle that fits the annual design problem.

Video Game Design Participants (three [3] teams per state) develop a game that reflects the theme for the year, which can be found on Themes and Problems. The game must have high artistic, educational, and social value and be interesting, exciting, visually appealing, and intellectually challenging. Participants submit the entry pre-conference by May 15th.

Webmaster Participants (one [1] team of three to five [3–5] individuals per chapter) design, build, and launch a website that features the school’s career and technology/engineering program, TSA chapter, and the chapter’s ability to research and present a given topic pertaining to technology. Semifinalists participate in an onsite interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained during the development of the website—with an emphasis on web design methods and practices, as well as their research for the annual design topic. Participants submit the entry pre-conference by May 15th.