To address the annual theme, participants select a contemporary
biotechnology issue and demonstrate understanding of the topic through their documented research and an original display. Semifinalists participate in an interview.
Based on the annual theme, participants conduct research on a
technology-related career, prepare a letter of introduction to a potential employer, and develop a job-specific resume. Semifinalists participate in a mock job interview.
Challenging Technology Issues
Following the onsite random selection of a technology topic from a group
of pre-conference posted topics, participants work to prepare for and deliver a debate-style presentation, in which they explain opposing views of the selected topic.
Participants take a parliamentary procedure test to qualify for the
semifinal round of competition. Semifinalists conduct an opening ceremony, items of business, parliamentary actions, and a closing ceremony.
Participants create an illustrated children’s story based on the annual
theme. The entry product is a physical storybook of artistic, instructional, and social value. Semifinalists read their story aloud and participate in an interview.
To qualify for the semifinal round of competition, participants take a
test that concentrates on computer science and coding. Semifinalists demonstrate their programming knowledge by developing a solution to an onsite coding challenge.
Community Service Video
Participants create a video that depicts the local TSA
involvement in a community service project. Semifinalists deliver a presentation on the project and participate in an interview.
Computer Aided Design (CAD) Foundations
Participants demonstrate their understanding of CAD fundamentals by
creating a two-dimensional (2D) graphic representation of an engineering part or object and answering questions from evaluators about their entry.
Participants submit a scale model, display, and documentation portfolio
for a design that fulfills a community need related to construction. Semifinalists deliver a presentation about their entry and participate in an interview.
Participants take a test that assesses knowledge of cybersecurity
vocabulary and the skills needed to execute common cybersecurity tasks. Using digital presentation software, semifinalists deliver a presentation that addresses the annual theme/problem.
Data Science and Analytics
Participants conduct research on the annual topic, collect data, use
analytics to assess the data and make predictions, and document their work in a portfolio and a display. To address a challenge presented onsite at the conference, semifinalists review specific data
sets, provide insights, make predictions, and present their findings for evaluation.
Participants produce and submit a digital photographic portfolio that
relates to the annual theme. Semifinalists participate in an onsite photographic challenge and a presentation/interview.
Participants design, draw, and construct a CO2-powered dragster that
adheres to the annual specifications, design and documentation requirements, and theme. Semifinalists participate in an interview and compete in a double-elimination race.
Participants take a test on basic electrical and electronic theory. In
response to an onsite challenge, semifinalists assemble a specified circuit from a schematic diagram, make required electrical measurements, and explain their solution in an interview.
Essays on Technology
Participants conduct research on specific subtopics from a broad
technology area posted as part of the annual theme. Using a previously prepared note card as an approved resource, participants draft an outline of the subtopic randomly selected onsite at the
conference. Semifinalists write an essay on that subtopic.
Participants submit a documentation portfolio and fabricate a glider
designed to stay in flight for the greatest elapsed time. Semifinalists use their technical drawing skills to construct a glider that is flown onsite.
Participants take a test of basic forensic science theory to qualify for
the semifinal round of competition. Semifinalists participate in an onsite forensic skills demonstration.
Inventions and Innovations
To address the annual theme, participants research a need - and
brainstorm a solution - for an invention or innovation of a device, system, or process. Participants document their work in an interactive display and the creation of a model/prototype. Semifinalists
deliver a presentation about their work and participate in an interview.
Junior Solar Sprint (JSS)
Participants apply STEM concepts, creativity, teamwork, and
problem-solving skills to design, construct, and race a solar-powered model car. Documentation of the process is required. Learn more about JSS, then register on Cvent to begin the JSS
Participants prepare for and deliver a presentation about a specific
challenge that officers of a TSA chapter might encounter. Semifinalists follow the same competition procedure but must respond to a different chapter challenge.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.