Participants take a test of basic forensic science to qualify for the semifinal round of competition. Semifinalists examine a mock crime scene and demonstrate their knowledge of forensic science through crime scene analysis, with the findings synthesized in a written report/analysis.
Future Technology Teacher
Participants research a developing technology, prepare a video showing an application of the technology in the classroom, and create a lesson plan/activity that features the application and connects to the Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (STEL), as well as STEM initiatives and integration. Semifinalists demonstrate the lesson plan and answer questions about their presentation.
To address the issue presented in an annual theme, participants interpret geospatial data and develop a digital portfolio containing maps, data, and pertinent documentation. Semifinalists defend their projections and visual infographic during a presentation/interview.
Participants design, fabricate, and use Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) to create a product that addresses the annual theme. A documentation portfolio and the completed product prototype are submitted for evaluation. Semifinalists give a product “sales pitch” and demonstration.
Participants produce an original musical piece designed to be played during the closing session of the national TSA conference. The quality of the musical piece and required documentation (including elements such as a plan of work, self-evaluation, and a list of hardware, software, and instruments used) determines advancement to the semifinal level of competition, during which semifinalist participants are interviewed.
On Demand Video
Once participants receive the challenge details (required criteria, such as props and a line of dialogue) at the national TSA conference, they have 36 hours to produce a 60-second film that showcases video skills, tools, and communication processes. The quality of the completed video production determines the finalists.
Participants produce a photographic portfolio - demonstrating expertise in photo and imaging technology processes - to convey a message based on the annual theme. Semifinalists have 24 hours to complete a portfolio of photos (with required documentation) taken onsite at the national TSA conference. Finalists are determined based on the quality of the semifinal portfolio, the portfolio presentation, and interview responses.
Participants deliver a three-to-five-minute oral presentation related to the current national TSA conference theme. Both semifinalists and finalists are determined based on the quality of the presentation and the appropriate use and content of the accompanying required slide deck.
Participants use computerized graphic communications layout and design skills to produce a promotional resource packet. The resource must address the annual theme/problem and include at least four printed publication items and required documentation. Semifinalists demonstrate publishing competency in an onsite technical design challenge.
Senior Solar Sprint
The Senior Solar Sprint (SSS) competition is managed by TSA. Students apply scientific understanding, creativity, experimentation, and teamwork to design, build, and race a model solar vehicle that carries a payload; documentation of the process is required. Students must register on Cvent to participate and begin the SSS journey.
Participants use their knowledge of cutting-edge technologies, algorithm design, problem-solving principles, effective communication, and collaboration to design, implement, test, document, and present a software development project of educational or social value. Both semifinalists and finalists are determined based on the quality of the presentation and project.
Structural Design and Engineering
Participants apply the principles of structural engineering to design and construct a structure that complies with the annual challenge. An assessment of the required documentation and the destructive testing of the structure (to determine its design efficiency) determine both semifinalists and finalists.
System Control Technology
Participants develop a solution to a problem (typically one from an industrial setting) presented onsite at the conference. They analyze the problem, build a computer-controlled mechanical model, program the model, demonstrate the programming and mechanical features of the model-solution in an interview, and provide instructions for evaluators to operate the model.
Participants demonstrate their knowledge of TSA and concepts addressed in technology content standards by completing an objective test. Semifinalist teams participate in a question/response, head-to-head, team competition.
Technology Problem Solving
Participants use problem-solving skills to design and construct a finite solution to a challenge provided onsite at the conference. Solutions are evaluated at the end of 90 minutes using measures appropriate to the challenge, such as elapsed time, horizontal or vertical distance, and/or strength.
Participants research, design, and produce a scale model of a vehicle that complies with the annual design problem. A display for the model and a documentation portfolio – containing elements such as a description of the vehicle, photographs and commentary detailing the vehicle production, and technical illustrations – are required. Semifinalists participate in an interview.
VEX Robotics Competition
Participants collaborate on a robotics project in which they build a robot that incorporates the relationship among STEM fields; the competition culminates in a robot skills challenge that assesses the efficiency and productivity of the robot.
Video Game Design
Participants design, build, and launch an E-rated online video game – with accompanying required documentation - that addresses the annual theme. Semifinalists participate in an interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise they gained during the development of the game.
Virtual Reality Visualization (VR)
Participants use video and 3D computer graphics tools and design processes to create a two-to-three-minute VR visualization (accompanied by supporting documentation) that addresses the annual theme. Semifinalists deliver a presentation about their visualization and participate in an interview.
Participants design, build, and launch a website that addresses the annual challenge. Semifinalists participate in an interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained during the development of the website.