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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:

Leadership Strategies

Participants (three [3] teams of three [3] individuals per state) demonstrate leadership and team skills by preparing a presentation based on a selected challenge the officers of a TSA chapter might encounter.

Mass Production

Participants (one [1] team of at least two [2] individuals) manufacture a marketable product related to the current year’s theme, which can be found on Themes and Problems. The team submits a documentation portfolio of the activities involved and three identical products made during the manufacturing process.

Mechanical Engineering

Participants (one [1] team of at least three [3] individuals per chapter) design and build a mechanical device to solve the problem statement for the identified theme. Teams identify and research an engineering process and construct a mechanical system that can be used to address the problem statement. Semifinalists participate in a presentation/interview. 

Medical Technology

Participants (three [3] teams of at least two [2] individuals per state) conduct research on a contemporary medical technology issue of their choosing, document their research within a display, and design a prototype depicting a medical technology solution. Semifinalists participate in a presentation.

Microcontroller Design

Participants (one [1] team per chapter; a team of one (1) is permitted) develop a working digital device (product) with real-world applications. Through a product demonstration and documentation, the team demonstrates knowledge of microcontroller programming, simple circuitry, and product design and marketing. The project should have educational and social value, and conform to the theme for the year, which can be found on Themes and Problems. Semifinalists demonstrate and promote their work in a presentation.

Off the Grid

Participants (three [3] teams per state; a team of one (1) is permitted) conduct research on a sustainable architectural design for a home in a country of the team's choosing (other than their home country), and document their findings in a display and a model. The model can be of the home designed by the team, or of a specific aspect of their design. Semifinalist teams give a presentation and are interviewed about their design. The design brief can be found on the Themes and Problems page.

Prepared Speech

Participants (three [3] individuals per state) deliver a speech that reflects the theme of the current year’s National TSA Conference. The current year's topics can be found on the Themes and Problems page.

Problem Solving

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

Promotional Marketing

Participants (one [1] individual per chapter) create a portfolio of marketing tools. Participants submit the entries pre-conference by May 15th. Semifinalists are announced onsite at the annual National TSA conference. Semifinalists work creatively under constraints to design a solution to a problem given onsite, using their own computer/laptop work station. Semifinalist entries will be saved to the individual's event USB drive (provided by TSA) for judging. The current year's topics can be found on the Themes and Problems page.

STEM Animation

Participants (three [3] teams per state) use computer graphics tools and design processes (i.e., animation) to communicate, inform, analyze, and/or illustrate a topic, idea, subject, or concept that focuses on one (1) or more of the following areas: science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Sound may accompany graphic images. Participants submit the entry pre-conference by May 15th. Semifinalists are announced onsite at the annual conference. Semifinalists participate in an onsite presentation. The current year's topics can be found on the Themes and Problems page.

Structural Engineering

Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) apply the principles of structural design and engineering through basic research, design, construction, and destructive testing to determine the design efficiency of a structure. The onsite semifinalist problem will be a variation of the pre-conference problem. The design brief can be found on the Themes and Problems page.

System Control Technology

Participants (one [1] team of three [3] individuals per state) use a team approach to develop a computer-controlled model solution to a given problem, typically one based on 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 leave instructions for judges to operate the device.

Tech 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 a question/response, head-to-head competition.

Technical Design

Participants (one [1] team of two [2] individuals per chapter) demonstrate their ability to use the technical design process to solve an engineering design problem onsite and present the team’s solution in a portfolio at the conference.

VEX IQ Challenge

Participants (three [3] teams per state) collaborate on a robotics project that explores the relationship among STEM fields, culminating in a head-to-head game to test their robot's efficiency and productivity. Learn more.

Video Game Design

Participants (one [1] team of two to six [2–6] individuals per chapter) develop, build, and launch an E-rated, online game that focuses on the subject of their choice. The game should be interesting, exciting, visually appealing, and intellectually challenging. Participants submit the entry pre-conference by May 15th. Semifinalists are announced onsite at the annual conference. Semifinalist teams participate in an onsite interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise they gained during the development of the game.

Website Design

Participants (one [1] team of three to six [3–6] individuals per chapter) design, build, and launch a website that features the team's ability to incorporate the elements of website design, graphic layout, and proper coding techniques. Participants submit the entry pre-conference by May 15th. Semifinalists are announced onsite at the annual conference. Semifinalists participate in an onsite conference interview, with an emphasis on web design as it pertains to their solution, to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained during the development of the website. The design brief can be found on the Themes and Problems page.