NASSP 2020-2021TSA Middle School Competitions iconBelow you will find summary descriptions of the 2020 and 2021 middle school TSA competitions. Click on a category to filter the competitions. (More detailed specifications and rules can be found in the "TSA Middle School Competitive Events Guide for the 2020 and 2021 National TSA Conference.")

The TSA middle school competitions eligibility chart is applicable to the 2021 National TSA Conference. (State delegations may choose to alter their events for local conferences. Click on your state to preview the requirements pertaining to your regional and/or state conferences.) 



For event entries submitted pre-conference:

  • 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 contact email provided during submission.

Each participant/team shall submit only one [1] entry per competition.

TSA Middle School Competitions | Career Categories

Click on a category below to view a list of TSA middle school competitions and their summary descriptions in that category:


Participants (three [3] teams per state) conduct research on a contemporary 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. Semifinalist teams and are interviewed about their topic.

CAD Foundations

Participants (two [2] individuals per state) have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of CAD fundamentals as they create a two-dimensional (2D) graphic representation of an engineering part or object.

Career Prep

Participants (one [1] individual per chapter) conduct research on a selected technology-related career according to a theme posted on the TSA website, and use this knowledge to prepare a letter of introduction and a chronological skills resume. Semifinalists participate in a mock interview.

Challenging Technology Issues

Participants (three [3] teams of two [2] individuals per state) work together to prepare and deliver a debate-style presentation with participants explaining opposing views of a current technology issue.

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 conduct an opening ceremony, items of business, parliamentary actions, and a closing ceremony within a specified time period.

Children’s Stories

Participants (three [3] teams per state; individual entries are permitted) create an illustrated children’s story that will incorporate educational and social values. The story may be written in a genre of their choice and must address the annual theme. Examples are fables, adventures, non-fiction, fiction, and fairy tales.


Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) will demonstrate their knowledge of computer science and coding by taking a written test. Semifinalists will further demonstrate their programming knowledge by participating in an onsite programming challenge.

Community Service Video

Participants (one [1] team per chapter; a team of one (1) is permitted; individual entries are permitted) create and submit a video that depicts the local TSA chapter’s involvement with a community service project (e.g., American Cancer Society) of their choice. Semifinalists are announced onsite at the annual conference.

Construction Challenge

Participants (one [1] team per chapter) submit a scale model/prototype with a portfolio that documents the use of their leadership and technical skills to fulfill an identified community need related to construction. Semifinalists discuss their projects in a presentation and an interview.

Cybersecurity Foundations

Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter) complete a Cybersecurity exam covering general cybersecurity vocabulary and knowledge needed to execute tasks commonly performed by all levels of cybersecurity professionals. Using digital presentation software, participants prepare a presentation, addressing a specific cybersecurity issue, to a group of hypothetical corporate board members.

Data Science and Analytics

Participants (three [3] teams of two to three [2-3] individuals per state) conduct research on an annual theme or topic, collect data, and document their research in a supporting portfolio and a display. Participants implement a variety of methods to find connections between data, and gain insightful knowledge about a particular issue. Using analytics, participants assess collected data to make predictions and informed decisions. Semifinalist teams report for a timed, onsite challenge in which they must review specific data sets, provide insights, make predictions, and present their findings.   

Digital Photography

Participants (three [3] individuals per state) produce a digital portfolio addressing an annual theme. Semifinalists participate in a timed challenge and demonstrate competency their knowledge of digital photography in a presentation/interview.


Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter) design and produce a race-worthy CO2-powered dragster according to stated specifications, using only specified materials.

Electrical Applications

Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) take a written test on basic electrical and electronic theory. Semifinalists assemble a specific circuit from a schematic diagram using their own kit, make required electrical measurements, and explain their solution during an interview.

Essays on Technology

Participants (three [3] individuals per state) 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 one subtopic that is designated onsite.


Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter) study the principles of flight and design in order to fabricate a glider that stays in flight for the greatest elapsed time. The glider must be designed to be launched from a catapult that is provided onsite. The design process is documented in a portfolio that is submitted for evaluation.

Forensic Technology

Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) take a written test of basic forensic science theory to qualify as semifinalists. Semifinalists participate in a skills demonstration onsite.

Foundations of Information Technology (FIT)

Participants (two [2] individuals per chapter) complete a examination covering essential IT skills and knowledge needed to perform tasks commonly performed by all levels of IT professionals. Semifinalists exhibit proficiency and demonstrate creative problem solving by applying techniques to troubleshoot an industry-related challenge.

Inventions and Innovations

Participants (one [1] team of at least three [3] individuals per chapter; investigate and determine the need for an invention or innovation of a device, system, or process, and brainstorm ideas for a possible solution. Teams prepare an interactive display and model/prototype. Semifinalists present to a panel of judges (who act as venture capitalist investors) to persuade the panel to invest in their invention/innovation.

Junior Solar Sprint (JSS)

Participants (one [1] team of two to four [2–4] per chapter) apply STEM concepts, creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills as they design, construct, and race a solar-powered model car. Learn more about JSS, then register on Cvent to begin your JSS journey.