Technology Student Association
The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a national student organization created to develop skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as business education. TSA aims to develop leadership, academic, and business management skills in the workplace among students and leaders within the community. The organization has 250,000 members.The 2019 national conference was held on June 28 - July 2, 2019, in Washington, D.C. The 2020 national conference will be held from June 27 - July 1, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Competitive events are separated into middle school and high school levels, with students competing only with their respective age group. Competitions take place at the local, state, regional and national level. A component of leadership is often entailed in events at both levels, with some events being devoted to leadership (such as the Leadership Challenge).
All TSA competitions are correlated with national science, technology, engineering and mathematics and business standards. Expert judging by technology educators and industry representatives inspires the best from participants. Sample middle school events include Biotechnology Issues, Career Prep, Video Game Design, and Inventions and Innovations. High school events include Animatronics, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Dragster Design, Promotional Design, System Control Technology, Flight Endurance, Software Development, and Desktop Publishing. Scores are out of 100 points and based upon a nationally developed rubric. Winners are chosen based on these scores. In many events, semi-finalists (top 12) move onto a second round of competition which usually involves an interview with the judges about the project. First, second, and third-place winners are awarded a trophy, and finalists (top 10) are recognized at the national level.
TSA became an independent organization in 1978, when AIASA Inc. was formed to oversee the activities of the American Industrial Arts Student Association. Between the foundation of AIASA as an independent organization (it had formerly been a part of the American Industrial Arts Association) and 1988, the association grew and began to take shape.
In 1988, the AIASA changed its name to the Technology Student Association as part of a shift in focus from industrial arts to mainstream technology. This action followed a similar name change by the Texas state delegation the previous year. In 1989, the official logo, submitted by a chapter advisor, was adopted. In 1990, the logo received a trademark from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Today, the association has grown to include over 250,000 members in 2,000 secondary schools across 49 states. It has established an Honor Society, manages numerous competitive events and has partnerships with several organizations.
Additionally, TSA has a service partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS), which are parts of their National Service Project. TSA members raise money to promote advocacy and research in the ACS, and the ACS issues Spirit of Service awards at each national conference. In the past, conferences have hosted Relay for Life events on site.