High School Competitive Events

Below is a summary of the 2019 and 2020 high school-level TSA competitive events which will be run at the Washington TSA 2020 State Conference. Detailed specifications and rules regarding each event can be found in the High School Technology Activities, National TSA Conference Competitive Events Guide.


Events Offered at WTSA State Conference


3D Animation 

Participants demonstrate their knowledge of 3D animation technology and design skills to creatively solve the challenge posted on Themes and Problems.



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 reflects the theme for the year, which can be found on Themes and Problems. Participants demonstrate understanding of the topic through documented research, the development of a solution, a display (including an optional model or prototype), and an effective multimedia presentation.


board game Design 

Participants develop, build, and package a board game that focuses on the subject of their choice. The game should be interesting, exciting, visually appealing, and intellectually challenging. Each team will have to design the packaging, instructions, pieces, and cards associated with creating and piloting a new board game. Semifinalists for the event will set up the game, demonstrate how the game is played, and explain the game’s features.


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 reflect the theme for the year, which can be found on Themes and Problems. The story must have a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focus.



Participants respond to an annual coding-related design challenge by developing a software program that will accurately address an onsite 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 CIM to create a promotional product.


Debating Technological Issues 

Participants work 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 reflects the theme for the year, which can be found on Themes and Problems.


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.


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 theme for the year, which can be found on Themes and Problems. Semifinalist teams participate in a presentation/interview in which they present their garment designs to judges.


Flight Endurance 

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


forensic science

Participants take a written test of basic forensic science theory to qualify as semifinalists. Semifinalist teams will examine a mock crime scene and demonstrate their knowledge of forensic science and crime scene analysis. Students will be expected to survey the scene and use proper techniques to collect evidence from the mock crime scene. Students then will collect their data and perform a detailed written analysis of the crime scene.


Future Technology Teacher 

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.


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 onsite prompt.


Prepared Presentation 

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


Promotional Design 

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.


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.


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.


Technology Problem Solving 

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


Transportation Modeling  

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


VEX Robotics

The TSA VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) is provided in partnership with TSA and VEX. The game field and challenge are the same each year 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. Washington will send 2 high school VEX teams, and 1 middle school VEX team, to the National Conference.


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.



Participants design, build, and launch a website that features the school’s career and technology/engineering program, TSA chapter, and the chapter’s ability to research and present a given topic pertaining to technology. Semifinalists participate in an onsite 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.



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.