Texas TSA on-site events use the rules as listed for each event. The event judge may explain additional regulations and procedures that effect the operation of the contest before the events take place.


Hot Rod CO2 Car Competition

Rules for this contest and procedures may be found on the Texas TSA website.

2020: 60’s/70’s Muscle Cars
2021: NHRA Funny Car
2022: Pro Stock Cars
2023: Pro Stock Pickups
2024: HRA Top Fuel Dragsters
2025: Hot Rod/Classic Gasser

Hot Rod Competition (HRC) provides technology students with another opportunity to use their knowledge and skills in problem solving and the fun and excitement of racing competition. The goal of HRC is to encourage students to design and build realistic looking one-fourth mile hot rod car models. The project has been carefully planned to allow students to create realistic scale models of dragsters, funny cars, pro-stock cars and trucks and still have a chance to win races. The vehicle should be built of several parts or sub-assemblies rather than carved out or 3D printed as a single unit.

Rules

  • Hot Rod must be powered by one 8 gram CO2 cartridge.
  • Hot Rod must fit onto a standard CO2 track.
  • If a car fails the initial weigh in, the race officials may provide student with an opportunity to bring the racer up or down to weight limits.
  • Any racer deemed unsafe by judges will not be raced.
  • All parts must be made of either wood or plastic. Glass and/or metal parts will be deemed unsafe. Exceptions: axles may be metal, plastic or wood.
  • All decisions of weight, size limits, or safety are the responsibility of the judges. Judges decisions are final.
  • In order to qualify for judging and placing, a car must remain in safe and operable condition after all racing and be capable of safely racing again.

Specifications

  • Length: 8 to 12 inches
  • Width: 2 5/8 to 3 3/4 inches at the widest point on the car.
  • Height: (above the race surface) minimum: 3 inches maximum: 3 3/4 inches
  • Weight: (not including CO2 cartridge) minimum 100 grams
  • Power Plant Chamber Wall Thickness: minimum 1/8 inch around the CO2 cartridge
  • Depth: minimum 1 7/8 inches maximum 2 1/8 inches
  • Center: Power Plant Chamber Center to Race Surface: 1 1/8 to 1 7/8 inches
  • Guide Lugs: minimum: 2, must be spaced at least 4 inches apart.
  • Required Equipment: Front mounted engine with side exhaust pipes (Note: Some Gassers exhaust
    through the front bumper).
  • Optional Equipment: Driver, pinstripes, decals or stickers, engine wiring and anything else to enhance
    the realistic look of the truck.

Documentation

Student must submit plans or blueprint, no larger than 11" X 17", of all of the parts, sub-assemblies or final car with appropriate dimensions.

Judging

  • 50% Appearance: Quality of craftsmanship + authenticity of appearance to plans/blueprint. Awarded 1st through number of valid entries.
  • 50% Race Results: Points will be awarded based upon race times.

Each hot rod will be awarded 1st through the number of valid entries for both appearance and race results. The lowest combined score wins 1st Place, the second lowest combined score wins 2nd Place, and so on. In case of a tie, the car with the better appearance and documentation will place higher.


CO2 Research Racer

The intent of the Research Racer is to allow students the freedom to experiment with different materials, shapes, and ideas when building and designing this CO2 vehicle.

Rules

  • Racer must be powered by one 8 gram CO2 cartridge.
  • Hot Rod must fit onto a standard CO2 track.
  • If a car fails the initial weigh in, the race officials may provide student with an opportunity to bring the racer up or down to weight limits.
  • Racer body must be supported on the track by devices other than the guide lugs used to attach the behicle to the track. (Examples: Wheels, springs, paperclips, Teflon, etc.)
  • Any racer deemed unsafe by judges will not be raced.
  • All parts must be made of either wood or plastic. Glass and/or metal parts will be deemed unsafe. Exceptions: axles may be metal, plastic or wood.
  • All decisions of weight, size limits, or safety are the responsibility of the judges. Judges decisions are final.

Specifications

Length: Minimum 6 inches
Width: Must fit within a single lane of a standard CO2 car track.
Weight: (not including CO2 cartridge) minimum 28 grams maximum 58 grams
Power Plant Chamber Wall Thickness: minimum 1/8 inch around the CO2 cartridge
Depth: minimum 1 7/8 inches maximum 2 1/8 inches
Center: Power Plant Chamber Center to Race Surface: 1 1/8 to 1 7/8 inches
Guide Lugs: minimum 2, must be spaced at least 4 inches apart.

Documentation

Student must submit plans/blueprint, no larger than 11" X 17", of all of the parts, subassemblies or final car with appropriate dimensions.

Judging

  • 50% Appearance: Quality of craftsmanship + authenticity of appearance to plans/blueprint. Awarded 1st through number of valid entries.
  • 50% Race Results: Points will be awarded based upon race times.

Each Hot Rod will be awarded 1st through the number of valid entries for both appearance and race results. The lowest combined score wins 1st Place, the second lowest combined score wins 2nd Place, and so on. In case of a tie, the car with the better appearance and documentation will place higher.


RC Vehicle

Competitors will build their own Electric RC car either from their own design or from a kit. No store bought, already assembled RC cars will be permitted. The course will be a road race. Race results will be posted. The purpose of the RC race is to showcase the learning activities of students building radio controlled cars and the components that make up this type of transportation system.

Rules:

  • The race will be divided into heats by classification. Each heat will have approximately four cars each.
  • The winner of each heat will advance to the next round. The number of teams entered will determine the number of rounds.
  • Each round will consist of a three-minute race.
  • The final round will consist of a five-minute race with a required pit stop for all cars. (Battery change for electric cars at some point during the race).
  • A car must be operational and on the track at the end of a race or it will be disqualified.
  • Any driver who has the same or more laps in a round as the round qualifiers will also advance to the next round.
  • All radios/controllers must be impounded, except when contestants are racing, until all races are over. Failure to return your radio/controller to the impound area will mean disqualification from the contest.
  • Someone from your race team must corner marshal at all times.

Specifications

Scale: 1/10 or smaller
Length: 18 in (457.2 mm) MAX
Width: 14 in (355.6 mm) MAX
Wheelbase: 14 in (355.6 mm) MAX
Weight: 5.0 lbs (2.27 kg) MAX
Drivetrain: 2WD or 4WD
Motor: Brushed 540 motor MAX
Radio: 2.4GHz, 2 channel
Batteries: 7.4V 1800mAh 6-C Ni-MH MAX

RC Race Car Track Layout


Rocket Launch

Kit Rockets

Rockets for this classification will be built from a commercially produced kit. The student will assemble the rocket following the instructions supplied with the rocket. Rockets that are purchased already assembled and ready to fly are not allowed in this classification. Documentation will include: Assembly Instructions supplied with kit. The appearance (area 1) will be compared to the instruction sheet for correctness of construction. No appearance score will be given without the instruction sheet.

Clarification

Extruded and plastic fins are allowed as long as they are individual pieces and not a prefabricated unit. There must be clear evidence that each fin is separately affixed onto the rocket body. No fin rings.

Student Built/Designed Rockets

Students must design and build the rocket for this classification from scratch. The student must build the body tube, the nose cone, the fins and the recovery system, without using parts from rocket kits. The only commercially made rocket part that can be used is the engine mount. Documentation: Students must have a drawing of the rocket. The appearance (area 1) will be compared to the drawing for correctness of construction.

Judging Criteria

  • Area 1 —— Appearance - weight, strength, shape, surface, smoothness, and color.
  • Area 2 —— Flight - lift-off, no gyration, steady climb.
  • Area 3 —— Recovery - separation, chute fully deployed, or streamer lands nearby.

Three judges will award points from 0 to 5 on each of three areas. A perfect score is 45 points. Each judge will evaluate without consultation. The decision of the judges will be final. In case of a TIE, in the top 3 entries, students will fire rockets again. In case of bad weather, the state winners will be judged on appearance only.

Instructions

  1. Only one student on the launch pad.
  2. Students must wear safety glasses or goggles while preparing rocket for flight.
  3. Student has a 5-minute limit from “GO” to “BLAST OFF”.
  4. Pick up wadding and old engine casings and dispose of them properly.
  5. Points will be awarded accordingly.

*NEW FOR 2020

Students MUST video their rocket launch prior to the State Competition. At the State Competition, the student will submit their rocket (without engine), documentation, and a USB with the video of their rocket launch. Be sure to include all safety measures and the entire launch process for judging. Rockets without video will not be judged. Due to location Texas TSA does not have a suitable area to launch on-site.


Drone Competition

The current space program is requesting a Mars rover exploration mission for 2020. A new rover (payload) needs to be delivered on time and with the help of your Space Launch Vehicle (Drone). Who can deliver this rover the fastest? Your task is the following: drive rover through the different space obstacles to deliver the rover (design created by you) to land on the landing zone in the fastest amount of time.

Contestant and Safety Requirements

Although there is no official UAV of the event we recommend a small UAV to be used as long as they conform to the following rules:

Safety Requirements

  • S1: All drones must have propeller guards/shrouds that at a minimum enclose all propeller arcs on the outside of the drone.
  • S2: The Drone Contest Director may call for an Emergency Stop at any time if they determine that a drone is unsafe due to unsafe equipment or due to unsafe piloting.
  • S3: Teams must consist of a minimum of two (2) student members with a maximum of three (3) student members.
  • S4: All team members must wear OSHA approved (Z87.1) clear safety glasses at all times.
  • S5: All team members must wear OSHA approved hard hats at all time during the contest. Texas TSA will not supply hard hats. Teams without hard hats will not be allowed to fly.
  • S6: All team members must have a signed Texas TSA Liability Release form physically with them at the Drone Contest. Not having the Texas TSA Liability Release form disqualifies that member from competing as part of the Team during the Drone Contest.
  • S7: Each team and their drone will be inspected prior to flight to insure compliance with all safety rules.
  • S8: All drone controllers must be powered off and turned in to the Contest Director at the beginning of the contest. No other drones will be allowed to be turned on during the Contest to insure that there is no interference between the current pilot and the current drone.
  • S9: There will not be any opportunity for practice flights prior to the beginning of the Drone Contest.
  • S10: All team members must remain in the designated areas at all times during the flight. The Pilot must be in the Pilot Box at all times during that team’s flight. Additional team members must remain in Team Box areas at the back corners of the Designated Contest Area. In the event that the drone crashes or is instructed to land, team members may not leave the Team Boxes until told to do so by the Contest Director.
  • S11: Teams waiting to compete will be instructed where to wait by the Drone Contest Director at the beginning of the contest.
  • S12: All control of the UAV must be through direct inputs to the controller by the pilot, without any autopilot, flight, or navigational aids, with the exception of auto takeoff and landing functions.
  • S13: Teams using a UAV that does not conform to these rules will not be permitted to use it at the competition.
  • S14: Each team must use their own drone for the competition.
  • S14: Each team must use their own drone for the competition.
    S15: The UAV may be modified to land the payload. The payload should be constructed separately and hang from a cable or string.

Drone Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13.5" x 13.5" or smaller
  • 2.4 GHz Remote Controller
  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 5 pounds, including payload, at takeoff
  • Fly at or below 400 feet
  • Battery power no greater than 7.4V
  • Must not receive or use GPS
  • Must not have any object avoidance systems.
  • 2 small Clockwise Motors
  • 2 small Counter-clockwise Motors
  • 4 propellers maximum

Drone Recommendations

  • Force1 Blue Heron Drone - Approximately $150
  • DROCON Drone with Camera Approximately $80
  • F100GP RC Brushless Motor 1080P HD Camera Drone - Approximately $160

Best Drones Under 200

Drone Recommendations DIY

Drone Task

  • Go through a set of 6 - 10in racing air gates set up 10 ft apart from each other without touching the gates itself. It gates are touched – 2 points will be deducted per incident.

  • The objective is to land the payload as close as the landing zone target that will consist of a square measuring 5 ft 6in with concentric squares within it at 6” intervals. The center square or “bulls eye” would award a contestant 6 points. Each square outward would be awarded one less value. See the diagram below:

Scores

Team Scores and therefore Final Placing will be determined by a combination of two things: FLIGHT TIME and LANDING ACCURACY.


Trebuchet

A trebuchet is a type of catapult that uses a swinging arm to throw a projectile. It was a common powerful siege engine until the advent of gunpowder. The later, and often larger, counterweight trebuchet, also known as the counterpoise trebuchet, uses a counterweight to swing the arm. It appeared in both Christian and Muslim lands around the Mediterranean in the 12th century, and made its way back to China via Mongol conquests in the 13th century.

Source

Safety

Safety is of utmost concern. Remember there is an element of danger with creating and operating a siege weapon. Trebuchets will be inspected for safety. Any loose parts must be tightened or the trebuchet will be deemed unfit and disqualified. No parts other than the projectile are allowed to become disconnected from the trebuchet at any time and must be securely attached prior to participating in the competition.

After check in, teams are NOT allowed to modify their device, unless instructed to do so by the judge. If a device fails inspection the judge reserves the right to deem the device unsatisfactory and thus disqualifying the team. A device fails inspection by being a possible safety hazard or it violates any construction criteria.

If the trebuchet becomes inoperable or unsafe, it must be removed immediately from the competition.

When the trebuchet is on display/not in performance mode, it must be fully disabled, the counterweight material removed, and unable to be launched.

If at any times an official declares “CEASE FIRE”, all testing must stop and the timer will be stopped as well.

Team

2-4 members. Limit 1 team per chapter.

All team members must be present during launching/competition time.

Design Constraints

Create a Counterweight Trebuchet.

Design Envelope is 30” (Length) x 18” (Width) x 24” (Height) with arm in locked/launching position. Throwing arm cannot unfold or transform during launch. The total weight of the unloaded trebuchet may not exceed fifteen (15) pounds.

The device must be a counterweight trebuchet. No floating arm trebuchets allowed. No catapults or catapult/trebuchet hybrids are allowed. No energy can be stored in deformation of components. That means no springs, rubber bands or flexible arms. No pulleys can be used. The counterweight container must be attached, not looped over, the end of the arm (or in close proximity).

No use of commercial trebuchet kits or components. The design and construction should demonstrate proof of the Team’s efforts.

Teams are allowed to use the following:

  • PVC
  • 3D Printed Components (a limit of 6 in3 of material)
  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Hardware (nuts, bolts, washers, fasteners, etc...)
  • Paracord, Rope, etc.
  • Glue

The Trebuchet must be stable and remain stationary in its launch position (within reason). The base of the trebuchet must accommodate the provided ballast. Ballast will be in the form of two (2) 25 lbs. bags of sand.

The triggering device, swing arm, and pivot must be constructed in a safe way, so as not to damage the device during launching, the testing area, or cause harm to others. This may result in an automatic safety disqualification.

The trebuchet must have a pull cord that is a minimum of five (5) feet long. The pull cord must be attached to the triggering mechanism and used activate the launching of the trebuchet.

The launch arm must have a sling or cup/basket to hold the projectile. No moving cradle or moving basket may be used. No parts other than the projectile or pull cord are allowed to become disconnected during launching

The following materials may not be used:

  • Glass
  • Flammable, corrosive, or explosive materials
  • Compounds that produce odors or gases.

Counterweight

Sand must be used as the counterweight. The trebuchet must have a counterweight container that can be filled and emptied during the event. The team is allowed to use a maximum of 10 lbs. of sand. No other weights can be used as a counterweight. If in the judge’s opinion, the container for the counterweight is “reinforced” with material designed to add a weight advantage, teams can be disqualified.

Projectile

Projectile is a hollow plastic practice golf ball (approximate weight of 14.5 grams each). Teams will be given a container of 3 dozen plastic golf balls as their ammunition. No further ammunition is allowed and no "re-firing" of projectiles that miss the target.

Target

The target is a collapsible chipping net golf target – Similar to the one found here:

Amazon

The center of the scoring net will be approximately 15' from the firing line. The scoring net will consist of 3 concentric circle. The outer circle is approximately 24” in diameter and the inner circle is 7” in diameter.

Procedure

  • All trebuchets must be placed directly on the firing line with the front of the catapult being "ON" the line.
  • All teams will be provided an opportunity to make 3 practice shots before the official testing begins.
  • For official testing, each team will have 2 minutes (120 seconds) to launch as many shots as possible. The official signal to commence testing is "FIRE". The goal is to accumulate as many points as possible in the net target in the time provided. Teams must cease fire at the end of allotted time.
  • If at any times an official declares “CEASE FIRE”, all testing must stop and the timer will be stopped as well.
  • Team members must collect all ammunition once the time limit is up and return it to the judges.

Scoring

Center Circle/Inner Target = 5 points for each ball
Middle Circle/Middle Target = 3 points for each ball
Outermost Circle/Outer Target = 1 point for each ball

Ammunition (plastic golf balls) must enter the target the target on the fly. No "bounce in" points will be allowed/awarded.

Ties will be broken as follows:

  • the team with the highest score and least amount of ammunition pieces in the target.
  • the team with the shortest time recorded to score the most points.

Documentation

Your documentation must be submitted in a folder with brads (no hard cover notebooks). You must include the following in your documentation:

  1. Cover– 1 page
  2. Materials List – 1 page
  3. Drawings and Sketches that show proof of your design/work (CAD preferred) – 2 to 6 pages
  4. Pages with 3D models and screen prints of printer software showing the amount of 3D printer material
    used – 2 to 6 pages
  5. Pages with pictures of team building and testing device – 2-4 pages
  6. Work Log – should include record of all design, build, and work sessions of team (no names, only initials should be used in log) – see a sample of
  7. National Events work logs for help. Pages as needed

Texas TSA and officials reserve the right to ensure the safety of all participants, officials, and observers at all times. If in the opinion of Texas TSA and its designated officials the safety of anyone is endangered intentionally or accidentally, it reserves the right to call a cease to the operation of the contest to address the situation. Safety is paramount and our first concern. Any efforts to purposely endanger others will result in immediate action.


TSA Electronic Flight Contest

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or better known as drones, have gained immense popularity over the last few years. The most important aspect of is flying them. Your task is to fly the UAV, that you have built from a kit or from scratch, through a course in the fastest time possible. Your drone will make three laps around the course and the best lap time will be used to determine your placement in the race. The top two teams from each race will move forward to the next race.

Specifications

Although there is no official UAV of the event, the UAV to be used will conform to the following specifications. If the UAV does not meet the specifications given, the team will not be permitted to fly their UAV:

  • Your UAV will not weigh more than 150g.
  • The motor size will be no larger than an 11xx.
  • The propeller size will be no larger than 2.5”.
  • The Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery being used will be no larger than 2S.

Contestant and Safety Requirements

Operating rules for the UAV race will be followed. Any violation of the rules that are stated will lead the flying team to be disqualified and asked to leave the course.

Operating Rules

  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 150 grams fully loaded.
  • Keep the unmanned aircraft within visual line-of-sight.
  • Do not fly directly over people.
  • Must not receive or use GPS.
  • Must not have any object avoidance systems.

 

  • S1: The Drone Contest Director may call for an Emergency Stop at any time if they determine that a drone is unsafe due to unsafe equipment or due to unsafe piloting.
  • S2: Each team and their drone will be inspected for meeting specification, safety, and operations prior to flight to ensure compliance with all rules before the races begin. The UAV will be submitted for inspection with the propellers removed from the UAV.
  • S3: ALL UAV, and UAV transmitters will be powered off at the beginning of the contest. No UAV and transmitter will be allowed to be turned on during the Contest (unless instructed to do so) to ensure that there is no interference between the current pilot and the current drone.
  • S4: Teams must consist of a minimum of two (2) student members with a maximum of three (3) student members. Each school will be allowed 2 competing teams. Each team will have their own UAV, transmitter, and goggles.
  • S5: ALL team members must wear OSHA approved (Z87.1) CLEAR safety glasses at all times. TSA will not supply safety glasses. Teams caught without wearing safety glass will not be allowed to fly.
  • S6: ALL team members must wear OSHA approved hard hats at all times during the contest. Texas TSA will not supply hard hats. Teams without hard hats will not be allowed to fly.
  • S7: ALL team members must have a signed Texas TSA Liability Release form physically with them at the Drone Contest. Not having the Texas TSA Liability Release form disqualifies that member from competing as part of the Team during the UAV Race.
  • S8: There will not be any practice flights prior to the beginning of the UAV Race. There will be a walk through and pre-race instructions given to contestants before the race.
  • S9: All team members must remain in the designated areas at all times during the flight. The Pilot must be in the Pilot Box at all times during that team’s flight. Additional team members must remain in Team Box areas at the back corners of the Designated Contest Area. In the event that the drone crashes or is instructed to land, team members may not leave the Team Boxes until told to do so by the Contest Director.
  • S10: Teams waiting to compete will be instructed where to wait by the Drone Contest Director at the beginning of the contest.
  • S11: All transmitters of the UAV must be through direct inputs to the transmitter by the pilot, without any autopilot, flight, or navigational aids.
  • S12: Teams using a UAV that does not conform to these rules will not be permitted to use it at the competition.

Recommendations

There has been an explosion of UAV companies that are available to supply do-it-yourself (DIY) kits. Many of these companies are happy to assist students in putting together their drone kits bought from them. Two companies in the Spring and Conroe area, Catalyst Machine Works and Cyclone FPV, have worked with students in the area. Banggood is a Chinese mail order and has a good selection of drones and equipment, but it takes several weeks for delivery. Also, there are many local racing groups in the Texas area with members that will help new drone racers and recommend of drones and drone equipment to start with. The Houston area has three groups that can be found on Facebook.

When you finally make a decision on the kit you wish to assemble, make sure that the drone meets specifications. Also, remember, you will need to solder wires to very small electronic components so make sure you understand how to solder before messing up your electronics.


On-Site Computer Skills Contest Non-NQE Events

Participating schools must supply all necessary software, hardware, paper, etc. All judging will be done on the contestants computer screen. Events such as animation’s and presentations will be demonstrated to a judge. Limited to three participants per region in each classification. These events will only be offered one time at state contest.


Written Examination

Students must supply a sharp number 2 pencil(s) and a hard surface, such as a clipboard, to lay the answer sheet on while marking answers. Maximum size of the surface will be 12 x 16 inches.

Testing can be over any or all categories. Contest limit - 1 hour.


Graphic Solutions

This competition will test the student’s ability to solve a given problem with minimum supplies. The only items that may be taken into the contest area are: flat drawing surface, such as a clipboard, (maximum size of 12 x 16 inches), pencils and eraser. Drafting aids will not be allowed. Participants will be seated in regular folding chairs. Grid paper will be supplied.

Middle School

High School