Technology Student Association
The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a national Career and Technology Student Organization (CTSO) for students engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Open to students enrolled in or who have completed technology education courses, TSA’s membership includes over 233,000 middle and high school students in approximately 2,000 schools spanning 49 states. TSA is supported by educators, parents and business leaders who believe in the need for a technologically literate society. Members learn through exciting competitive events, leadership opportunities and much more. The diversity of activities makes TSA a positive experience for every student.
TSA chapters take the study of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) beyond the classroom and give students the chance to pursue academic challenges among friends with similar goals and interests. Together, chapter members work on competitive events, attend conferences on the state and national levels and have a good time raising funds to get there. Chapter organization develops leadership, as members may become officers within their state and then run nationally. Our chapters are committed to a national service project and are among the most service-oriented groups in the community.
The West High School TSA Chapter was established in 2015 and is a member of the Heart of Texas regional chapter and has produced state and national qualifiers every year. In the 2017-2018 school year, we were the high point high school for our region. TSA has national qualifying events (NQEs) and state only events.
National qualifying events include:
- 3D Animation Participants (three  teams of two  to six  members per state) demonstrate their knowledge of 3D animation technology and design skills to creatively solve the challenge posted on the national TSA website.
- Animatronics Participants (one  team per chapter) 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 (one  team, or one  individual, per chapter; one entry per team or individual) 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 (three  teams of two to six [2-6] members per state) 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.
- Board Game Design Participants (one  team per chapter) 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.
- Chapter Team Participants (one  team of six  members per chapter) 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.
- Children’s Stories Participants (one  team, or one  individual, per chapter) 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 (one  individual, or one  team of two to three [2-3] members, per chapter) 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 (two  individuals per state) 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 (two  individuals per state) 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 (one  team of two  members per chapter) 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 (three  teams of two  members per state) 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 (three  teams per state; an individual may participate solo in this team event) develop a public service announcement and a digital video (with sound) that focuses on the given year’s theme.
- Dragster Design Participants (two  individuals per chapter; one  try per individual) design, produce a working drawing for, and build a CO2-powered dragster.
- Engineering Design Participants (three  teams of three  or more members per state) 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 judges.
- Essays on Technology Participants (three  individuals per state) 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 (three  individuals per state) 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 (three  teams of two to four [2-4] members per state) 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.
- Flight Endurance Participants (two  individuals per chapter; one  entry per individual) analyze flight principles with a rubber band-powered model aircraft.
- Forensic Science Participants (one  team of two  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.
- Future Technology Teacher Participants (two  individuals per chapter) investigate technology education preparation programs in higher education and test their potential as a future technology educator.
- Music Production Participants (three  teams per state; 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.
- On Demand Video Participants (one  team of two to six [2-6] members per chapter) write, shoot, and edit a 60-second video on site during the conference.
- Photographic Technology Participants (one  individual per chapter) 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 (three  individuals per state) deliver an oral presentation, using a digital slide deck, on a topic provided on-site.
- Promotional Design Participants (three  individuals per state) use computerized graphic communications layout and design skills in the production of a promotional resource for TSA.
- Scientific Visualization (SciVis) Participants (three  teams per state; an individual may participate solo in this team event) 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 (one  team per chapter) 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 (one  team of two  members per chapter) 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 (one  team of three  members per state) 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 (one  team of three  members per chapter) 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 (one  team of two  individuals per chapter) use their skills in problem solving to develop a finite solution to a problem provided on site.
- Transportation Modeling Participants (one  individual per chapter) research, design, and produce a scale model of a vehicle that fits the annual design problem.
- Video Game Design Participants (three  teams per state, with a minimum of two  members per team) 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 Participants (one  team of three to five [3-5] members per chapter) 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.