NASSP logo pngTSA Middle School Competitions iconBelow you will find summary descriptions of the 2019 and 2020 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 2019 and 2020 National TSA Conference.") You can also view and download the TSA middle school competitions eligibility chart applicable to the 2020 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:

  • 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 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 make a presentation 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. Participants submit the documentation pre-conference by May 15th. Semifinalists are announced onsite at the annual conference. 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. The current year's topics can be found on the Themes and Problems page.

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; a team of one (1) is 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. Examples are fables, adventures, non-fiction, fiction, and fairy tales. The story must revolve around the theme chosen for the given year. The current year's topics can be found on the Themes and Problems page. 


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. Details about the onsite challenge (e.g., programming language to be used and practice problems) can be found on Themes and Problems.

Community Service Video

Participants (one [1] team per chapter; a team of one (1) is 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. Participants submit the entry pre-conference by May 15th. 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 such as PowerPoint, Prezi, or Moovly, participants prepare a presentation, addressing a specific cybersecurity issue, to a group of hypothetical corporate board members (i.e., judges).

Participants must explain the importance of cybersecurity and why it is essential that the organization invest in such measures. The problem statement will be posted on the TSA website under Competition/Themes and Problems. Semifinalists exhibit proficiency by recommending security measures to address various scenarios based on factors such as efficiency, feasibility, and ethical impacts.

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 posted on the Themes and Problems page. Participants submit the entry pre-conference by May 15th. Semifinalists announced onsite at the annual conference. Semifinalists participate in a timed challenge, which includes digital photographs taken and edited onsite. Semifinalists demonstrate 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. Special design requirements will be posted on Themes and Problems.

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 make an oral presentation 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.