TSA Middle School Competitions iconTSA offers 37 middle school competitions. The eligibility chart below provides the eligibility requirements for each competition and is applicable to the 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.) 



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:

Mass Production

Participants manufacture a marketable product that addresses the annual theme. The development of the product prototype is documented in a portfolio that presents participant knowledge and skills related to the mass production process. Through a demonstration of the prototype and an interview, semifinalists support the viability of the prototype.

Mechanical Engineering

Participants design, document, and build a mechanical device (mousetrap car) that incorporates the elements of the annual theme/problem – and then race the car. Finalists are determined based on an evaluation of the documentation portfolio, the race exit interview, and the race placement.

Medical Technology

Participants conduct research on a contemporary medical technology issue related to the annual theme, document their research, create a display, and build a prototype. Semifinalists deliver a presentation about their entry and participate in an interview.

Microcontroller Design

To address the annual theme/problem, participants design and create a working digital device, document the development process, and demonstrate their product as part of a presentation.

Off the Grid

Based on the annual theme, participants conduct research on a sustainable architectural design for a home in a country not their own. Participants produce a portfolio and create a display and a model. Semifinalists present their design and participate in an interview.

Prepared Speech

Participants deliver a timed speech that relates to the theme of the current national TSA conference. Semifinalists and finalists are determined using the same competition procedure.

Problem Solving

Participants use problem-solving skills to design and build a solution to an onsite challenge. Solutions are evaluated using measures appropriate to the challenge, such as elapsed time, horizontal or vertical distance, and/or strength.

Promotional Marketing

Participants create and submit a marketing portfolio and required elements that address the annual theme/problem. Semifinalists complete a layout and design assignment for evaluation.

STEM Animation

Participants design and create a STEM animation video and documentation portfolio to address the annual theme/problem. Semifinalists present their animation and explain the elements of their portfolio/entry.

Structural 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

In response to a challenge presented onsite at the conference, participants analyze a problem (typically one in an industrial setting), build and program a computer-controlled mechanical model to solve the problem, explain the program and the features of the mechanical model solution, and provide instructions for evaluators to operate the device.

Tech Bowl

Participants demonstrate their knowledge of TSA and concepts addressed in technology content standards by completing an objective test. Semifinalists participate in a head-to-head, team competition.

Technical Design

Participants demonstrate their ability to use the technical design process to solve an engineering design problem provided onsite at the conference. Required elements of the entry are presented in a portfolio that includes technical drawings for a minimum of three viable solutions.

VEX IQ Challenge

Participants collaborate on a robotics project – in which they build a robot that incorporates the relationship among STEM fields – culminating in a robot skills challenge that evaluates the robot’s efficiency and productivity.

Video Game Design

Participants design, build, provide documentation for, and launch an E-rated, online game on a subject of their choice. Onsite at the conference, semifinalists deliver a presentation and participate in an interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained during the development of the game.


Participants use digital video technology to create original content about a pre-determined technology theme. Semifinalists compete in an onsite challenge to produce additional video(s) based on specified criteria, such as provided props, lines of dialog, and topics.

Website Design

To address the annual challenge, participants design, build, provide documentation for, and launch a website that incorporates the elements of website design, graphic layout, and proper coding techniques. Semifinalists participate in an interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained during the development of the website.