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655 S.E. University Ave.
Waukee, IA 50325
United States of America

The Technology Student Association fosters personal growth, leadership, and opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); members apply and integrate these concepts through co-curricular activities, competitions, and related programs.

High School Events

High School Events

2018 State Conference Registration Link:

Architectural Design

Event Description:  Participants (5 Teams of up to 4 students per chapter) 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.

2019 Theme: “House in a Box

CAD Architecture

Event Description:  Participants (2 individuals per chapter) create representations, such as foundation and/or floor plans, and/or elevation drawings, and/or details of architectural ornamentation or cabinetry.

Participants must bring their own computer and CAD software.

CAD Engineering

Event Description:  Participants (2 individuals per chapter) create 3D computer model(s) of an engineering or machine object, such as a machine part, tool, device, or manufactured product.

Participants must bring their own computer and CAD software.


Updated 4/1/2016 (New Forms and Email Contact)

Chapter of Excellence Document:  Please fill out this document completely and email to Rhys South, contact information below.  The Due Date is April 5th by 3pm.

Word Version of Chapter of Excellence Document:  (Click here to download)

Printable PDF Version of Chapter of Excellence Document:  (Click here to download)

Chapter Team

Event Description:  Participants (3 Teams of 6 Students per Chapter) will perform an opening ceremony, dispose of three items of business, and perform a closing ceremony within a specified time period.

  • State Conference Coordinator: Nick Crosse

  • Coordinator Contact:


Event Description:  Participants (2 teams of 1-3 students per chapter)

2019 Theme: Multi-Modal Picture Book: Design a book with tactile and auditory features that enrich the storybook experience for children ages 4-7 who have a disability.

Computer Integrated manufacturing (CIM)

Event Description:  Participants (5 teams of 2 members per chapter) design, fabricate, and use Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) to create a promotional TSA product.

2019 Theme: A STEM-themed toy that will showcase the current year’s theme “Model the Way.”

Debating Technical Issues

Event Description:  Participants (3 teams of 2 members per chapter) work together to prepare for a debate against a team from another chapter. Teams are instructed on site to take either the pro or con side of a subtopic (which falls under a general topic) that is designated annually. Participants need to be ready to debate all three subtopics, pro or con.

2019 Topic: Social Media

  • Subtopic 1
    Resolved: Social media companies are obligated to address the deliberate spread of misinformation (aka Fake News).

  • Subtopic 2
    Resolved: The transactional nature of social media (up votes/down votes) has a negative impact on society at large. 

  • Subtopic 3
    Resolved: Social media companies must be held criminally liable for the illegal activities that their users plan or execute on their platforms.

Digital Video Production

Event Description:  Participants (2 Teams of 3 Students per Chapter) develop a digital video/film that focuses on the current year’s theme. Sound may accompany the film.

Iowa Specific Rule:  Each team must upload their video to Youtube as an "Unlisted" video, and share the link with the State Coordinator. (Updated 3/21/16)

2019 Theme: A Mockumentary
A mockumentary or mock documentary is a genre of film, a parody that takes the form of a serious documentary on a chosen subject.

Dragster Design

Event Description:  Participants (5 Individuals per Chapter) design, produce working drawings for, and build a CO2- powered dragster.

For High School, a CAD drawing with dimensions is required in order to race.  No hand drawn sketches will be accepted for high school.

All cars will run one qualifying time trial.  The top sixteen legal cars based on time will advance to championship bracket.

For 2019 ONLY: The dragster body must include at least one (1) wing, spoiler, fin or splitter as part of the finished product. It must be part of the one-piece body, not an add-on or additional piece, and must stay within all other regulated specifications as outlined in the event regulations.

Extemporaneous SPEECH

Event Description:  Participants (3 Individuals per chapter) give a three-to-five minute speech fifteen minutes after having drawn a card on which a technology or TSA topic for a speech is written.

Fashion Design AND TEchnology

Event Description:  Participants (3 Teams of 3 - 5 Students per Chapter) research, develop and create garment designs, garment mock- ups, and portfolios that reflect the current year’s published theme. Semifinalists participate in an on-site event in which they present their potential garment designs to the judges on a TSA runway.

2019 Theme: CosPlay

Cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime. Each team should design and create from scratch three (3) garments to fit the cosplay theme. Garments can be based on characters, movies, comics, and books but cannot contain copyrighted logos or images without written permission. 

Flight Endurance

Event Description:  Participants (4 Individuals per Chapter, one entry per individual) analyze flight principles with a rubber band-powered model aircraft.

Additional Flight Endurance Information Link:

  • State Conference Coordinator: Larry Johnson, CD

  • Coordinator Contact:

Forensic Science

Event Description:  Participants (six [6] teams of two [2] members per chapter) 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 will then collect their data and perform a detailed written analysis of the crime scene.

  • State Conference Coordinator: Barb South

  • Coordinator Contact:

Music Production

Event Description:  Participants (three teams per chapter; an individual may participate solo in this team event) produce an original musical piece that is designed to be played during the national TSA conference opening or closing general sessions.

Photographic Technology

Event Description:  Participants (5 Individuals per Chapter) capture and process photographic and digital prints that depict the current year’s published theme.  Event will be judged as a drop-off final with no interview and no on site requirement.

This year participants have the opportunity to show their photography skills working with different lighting conditions.  Participants must create a portfolio featuring five (5) pictures. Please note that picture #1 must contain people and/or animals.  All other pictures may or may not have people or animals in them. Make sure to read the event rules for further directions.

  • Picture #1:  Color picture that must contain a person or people and/or an animal(s) taken in bright afternoon sunlight (between 11 AM and 2 PM).  In the photo’s description, state the time that the picture was taken.

  • Picture #2:  Color picture taken outside during sunrise or sunset

  • Picture #3:  Black and white picture working with fluorescent lighting

  • Picture #4:  Black and white picture taken using candlelight

  • Picture #5:  Student choice as to whether it is color or black and white
    Options for the light source:

    • Moonlight

    • Starlight

    • Nightlight

    • Spotlight

    • Flashlight

Prepared Presentation

Event Description:  Participants (3 Individuals per Chapter) deliver an oral presentation, which should include audio and/or visual enhancement, based on the theme for the current year’s conference.

2019 Theme: "Inspire a Shared Vision"

Promotional Design

Event Description:  Participants (5 individuals per chapter, 1 entry each) develop and present a graphic design that can be used to promote participation in TSA competitive events. The design will promote annually-selected competitions from TSA’s array of competitive events.

Participants produce an original multi-piece marketing folder to be used for TSA chapter recruitment, or as an introductory packet for new TSA advisors/teachers. This promotional pocket folder should be mailable and would include four to five separate and different items. The folder must contain items that provide details about TSA, its history, its co-curricular relationship with Engineering and Technology pathway courses, its membership guidelines and instructions for joining, the competitive events program, signature events, service projects, STEM connections, leadership training activities, and sample chapter membership recruitment items.

Iowa Specific Rule:  All PDFs submitted for the state competition should be emailed to with the subject line "2019 Promotional Graphics."

RC Transportation

Event Description:  Participants (5 Teams of 3 Students per Chapter) will compete in a Radio Controlled Car racing event.  The RC Cars will be provided either by the students or participating school chapter.  A set of guidelines, motor requirements, and frequencies will be posted in this area prior to the Local and State Conferences.


2017-2018 RC Car Rules: Click to Download Rules Sheet

Spring Conference 2019 RC Registration: Team Registration Link

Example of Team Registration Link: Click to Open Example


Event Description:  Participants (3 Teams of 2 Students per chapter) work as part of a team on-site with supplied materials to build a model of a structure that is destructively tested to determine design efficiency.

Iowa Specific Rule:  Structures will be built at the State Conference this year (2019).  All participants need to bring their own building tools and glue.  The building materials (except glue) will be provided by Iowa TSA at the event. 

Announcement: The structure design drawing will be done in advance of the contest.  Bring the completed design drawing to check in with you.

Structural Design Description and Team Verification Document

Technology Bowl

Event Description:  Participants (2 Teams of 3 Students per Chapter) complete a head-to-head team competition.

  • State Conference Coordinator:

  • Coordinator Contact:

Technology Problem Solving

Event Description:  Participants (3 Teams of 2 Students per Chapter) work together on site to develop and create a solution to a problem using the limited materials provided and the tools allowed.

*TOOLBOX REMINDER* All problem solving teams need to bring a toolbox that contains the items listed on the National TSA event description.  Please make sure prior to the event that your toolbox contains only the allowed items to participate in the challenge.  Teams who use outside materials not listed by the National TSA Event Description will be subject to point deductions/disqualification. (Updated on 3/22/16)

  • State Conference Coordinator: Taylor Shaw

  • Coordinator Contact:

Transportation Modeling

Event Description:  Participants (5 individuals per chapter, 1 entry per individual) use engineering skills to design and fabricate a CO2-powered scale model of a vehicle that meets the current year’s stated design theme.

2019 Theme: City People Mover - example: Maglev (for inner city point-to-point movement)

  • State Conference Coordinator: Gene Olsen

  • Coordinator Contact:

VEX Robotics

Event Description:  The TSA VEX Robotics Competition engages middle and high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through an exciting, head-to-head robotics contest that captures student attention and both enhances—and allows them to use—their skills in STEM areas. In addition, the competition complements the existing technology-related competitive events offered by TSA at both levels of instruction.  (Unlimited Entries per Chapter)


Link to Description:


Event Description:  Participants (one [1] team of three to six [3-6] individuals per chapter; one entry per team) 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. The design brief for this event will be posted on Themes and Problems.

 2019 Theme: Celebrating the Music

Design Brief