High School Events

Below is a summary of the 2017 and 2018 high school level TSA competitive events which will be run at the Washington TSA 2018 State Conference. Event details, rules and scoring guides can be found in the 2017 & 2018 High School Technology Activities, National TSA Conference Competitive Events Guide.

Details specific to the Washington TSA State Conference will be found on this page. Any rules/changes listed on this page supercede the National TSA Event Guide details during the Washington TSA State Conference.


Early Entry Events: Future Technology Teacher, Promotional Design, STEM Careers, Webmaster. Entries must be submitted online using the form found on the state conference webpage by March 1st. See instructions on the form to name and submit your files. Failure to Name and Submit entries correctly will result in disqualification.


3D Animation  Participants demonstrate their knowledge of 3D animation technology and design skills to creatively solve the challenge posted on the national TSA website.

Animatronics  Participants demonstrate knowledge of mechanical and control systems by designing, fabricating, and controlling an animatronics device that will communicate, entertain, inform, demonstrate and/or illustrate a topic, idea, subject, or concept. Sound, lights, and a surrounding environment must accompany the device

Architectural Design  Participants develop a set of architectural plans and related materials for an annual architectural design challenge and construct a physical, as well as a computer-generated model, to accurately depict their design.

Biotechnology Design  Participants select a contemporary biotechnology problem (that relates to the current year’s published topic) and demonstrate understanding of it through documented research, the development of a solution, a display (including an optional model or prototype), and an effective multimedia presentation.

Children’s Stories  Participants create an illustrated children's story of high artistic, instructional, and social value. The narrative may be written in prose or poetry and take the form of a fable, adventure story, or other structure. The physical story book should be of high quality and designed to meet the year’s given theme. The story must have a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focus.

Coding  Participants respond to an annual coding-related design challenge by developing a software program that will accurately address an on-site problem in a specified, limited amount of time.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Architecture  Participants use complex computer graphic skills, tools, and processes to develop representations of architectural subjects, such as foundation and/or floor plans, and/or elevation drawings, and/or details of architectural ornamentation or cabinetry.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD)Engineering  Participants use complex computer graphic skills, tools, and processes to develop three-dimensional representations of engineering subjects such as a machine part, tool, device, or manufactured product.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)  Participants design, fabricate, and use Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) to create a promotional TSA product that will showcase the current conference city and/or state.

Debating Technological Issues  Participants together to prepare for a debate against a team from another chapter. The teams will be instructed to take either the Pro or Con side of a selected subtopic.

Digital Video Production  Participants develop a public service announcement and a digital video (with sound) that focuses on the given year’s theme.

Dragster Design  Participants design, produce a working drawing for, and build a CO2-powered dragster.

Engineering Design  Participants develop a solution to a National Academy of Engineering grand challenge that is posted on the national TSA website. The solution offered will be informed and designed by precise problem definition, thorough research, creativity, experimentation (when possible), and the development of documents and appropriate models (mathematical, graphical, and/or physical prototype/model). Semifinalist teams present and defend their proposed solution to a panel of evaluators.

Essays on Technology  Participants write a research-based essay (using two or more sources provided on-site) that makes insightful connections about a current technological topic. Note: Participants will be required to bring a charged laptop and a USB drive to the event. The USB drive will be left with the event coordinator at the end of the event, and not available for pickup until Saturday during event viewing.

Extemporaneous Speech  Participants verbally communicate their knowledge of technology or TSA subjects by giving a speech after having drawn a card on which a technology or TSA topic is written.

Fashion Design and Technology  Participants research, design, and create a portfolio and wearable prototype that reflect the current year’s theme. Semifinalist teams participate in a presentation/interview in which they present their garment designs to judges. Note: Participants will model creations on the main stage in the hotel ballroom during their presentation.

Flight Endurance  Participants flight principles with a rubber band-powered model aircraft.

Future Technology Teacher Early Entry Event Participants investigate technology education preparation programs in higher education and test their potential as a future technology educator.

Music Production Participants an original musical piece that is designed to be played during the national TSA conference opening or closing general sessions.

On Demand Video  Participants write, shoot, and edit a 60-second video on site during the conference after being given a line of dialogue and 3 props. Note: All teams must check in their team LEAP resume during check in on Thursday. All teams will be allowed into the event meeting Thursday night. Any team that did not check in a team LEAP resume on Thursday will not be allowed to turn in their entry on Saturday morning.Teams will have less than 36 hours to complete their video. Elevators may not be utilized in the production of the video. Additional rules will be supplied at the meeting on Thursday Night.

Photographic Technology  Participants demonstrate understanding of and expertise in using photographic and imaging technology processes to convey a message based on a theme. Semifinalists record images and then utilize graphic editing software to prepare a single final image as a solution to an on-site prompt.

Prepared Presentation  Participants deliver an oral presentation, using a digital slide deck, on an topic provided on-site.

Promotional Design Early Entry Event Participants use computerized graphic communications layout and design skills in the production of a promotional resource for TSA.

Scientific Visualization (SciVis)  Participants use either 2D or 3D computer graphics tools and design processes to communicate, inform, analyze, and/or illustrate a STEM topic, idea, subject, or concept.

Software Development  Participants use knowledge of cutting-edge technologies, algorithm design, problem-solving principles, effective communication, and collaborative teamwork to design, implement, test, and document a software development project of educational or social value.

STEM Careers Early Entry Event Participants develop a specific skill and complete a thorough project about the skill’s relationship to a STEM career area of their choice. Participants research and prepare documentation related to the skill and prepare a video that demonstrates the skill. Semifinalists participate in an on-site interview to discuss the skill developed.

Structural Design and Engineering  Participants work as a team to build a designated structure that is posted on the TSA website. Teams apply the principles of structural design and engineering through research, design, construction, destructive testing, and assessment to determine the design efficiency of the structure. Note: Teams must complete both the HS Structural Design and Engineering Team Assessment Form, and the High School Structural Design and Engineering Team Verification as part of their entry, in addition to all other materials.

System Control Technology  Participants work on site to develop a computer-controlled model-solution to a problem, typically one from 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 write instructions for evaluators to operate the device.

Technology Bowl  Participants demonstrate their knowledge of TSA and concepts addressed in the technology content standards by completing a written, objective test; semifinalist teams participate in question/response, head-to-head team competition. Note: Schools may register one team of 3 students to compete in this event. The team must be registered at the time that the chapter registers for the conference. After the Technology Bowl Written testing window closes, advisors will have 1 week to choose and register the 3 students who will be participating on the team. At the conference, the 3 team members will work together to complete a written test.  The top 3 teams will compete in an oral competition on Friday Night of the conference.  The 3 team members who are registered must take the written test, and compete in the oral round if they qualify for finals. Chapters are NOT allowed to change team members.

Technology Bowl Written This is an online test given prior to the State Conference. Note: All participants registered for the conference are welcome to take the Technology Bowl Written test. You do not need to register for this contest at the time of registration.  This test will be given in an online format prior to the conference and must be proctored by the chapter advisor.  The testing window will be open March 1-15. Students are only allowed to take the test one time, at one sitting, for a maximum time of one hour.

Technology Problem Solving  Participants use their skills in problem solving to develop a finite solution to a problem provided on site.

VEX Robotics The TSA VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) is provided in partnership with TSA and VEX. The game field and challenge this year are In The Zone, the same as the current VEX field and challenge, but qualifying is based solely on skills rankings, and finals play is one-on-one, rather than alliances. Teams are allowed to get their runs in any time between 9 am and 2 pm, to allow students to compete in other TSA competitive events also. VEX teams will be required to turn in a team LEAP resume, and a design notebook, and participate in a judge interview. Washington will send 2 high school VEX teams, and 1 middle school VEX team, to the National Conference. Note: ALL ROBOTS MUST USE VEXNET. Crystals will not be allowed. In order to receive a score in driver control mode, or in programming skills, the robot must move off of the starting tile, and must perform a scoring move. It is the responsibility of each team to ensure they get their 3 opportunities at each challenge.  Teams that do not complete these in the allotted time on the conference schedule will be assessed based on the scores they have to that point. All team members must wear a minimum of WTSA Competition Attire as outlined in the WTSA Dress Code.  Those teams in which any team member is not dressed accordingly will receive a 20 point deduction in score for that skills challenge attempt or match. 

  • Programming Skills Challenge – Teams will have the opportunity to complete three 1 minute trials of the Programming Skills Challenge and their scores will be recorded. Teams will be ranked according to their highest score.
  • Driver Control Challenge - Teams will have the opportunity to complete three 1 minute trials of the Robot Skills Challenge and their scores will be recorded. Teams will be ranked according to their highest score.
  • Head-to-Head VEX Competition – Teams will be ranked using their top (combined highest programming & highest robot) score and the top 8 teams will engage in a one-on-one In The Zone elimination match tournament to determine a champion in each division.

Video Game Design Participants develop a game that focuses on the subject of their choice. The game must have high artistic, educational, and social value and be interesting, exciting, visually appealing, and intellectually challenging.

Webmaster Early Entry Event Participants design, build, and launch a website that features the school’s career and technology/engineering program, the TSA chapter, and the chapter’s ability to research and present a given topic pertaining to technology. Semifinalists participate in an on-site interview to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained during the development of the website — with an emphasis on web design methods and practices, as well as their research for the annual design topic. Note: No changes can be made to the website after the Early Entry Deadline of March 1st.


Events Not Offered at WTSA State Conference

Chapter Team  Participants take a written parliamentary procedures test in order to qualify for the semifinals, in which they complete an opening ceremony, items of business, parliamentary actions, and a closing ceremony within a specified time period.

Transportation Modeling  Participants research, design, and produce a scale model of a vehicle that fits the annual design problem.


You can also download a printer-friendly version of the High School events for this year, and the Event list showing the limits of entries at State and Nationals for each event - See Below
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Themes and Problems Themes and problems for related middle and high school competitions. 
General Competitive Event Rules  
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Jennifer Smith,
Sep 12, 2017, 8:48 PM