Contest Descriptions

The following are brief descriptions for all of the SkillsUSA Championships competitions. The official rules for each event are found in the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards. This publication can be ordered by calling 1-800-321-8422 or use the links below to order online. Order the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards Package on CD-ROM (this includes the Technical Standards and 2014 Contest Projects). Prepare for national conference with Contest Singles. For contests that are too new for inclusion in the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards, there is a link at the end of each contest description.

3-D Visualization and Animation

The world of 3D is rapidly expanding, and career opportunities exist in a wide range of fields – including architecture, games, product and industrial design, civil engineering, and film and television animation. This contest allows students to step into a real world 3D production environment where creative output must be accomplished within specific timeframes, resources and design constraints. This is a two-person team event and includes a preliminary written exam. Contestants must produce high quality images and an animated short subject using 3D computerized images. Students are evaluated on their technical knowledge, production skills and creative abilities – including visual development and storyboarding. They will also have the opportunity to interface with and get feedback from high-profile judges with successful careers in 3D visualization and animation.

Action Skills

A five- to seven-minute demonstration of an occupational skill in an area in which a student is training. Contestants use examples, experiments, displays or practical operations to clearly explain their skills using contestant-prepared visual aids.

Additive Manufacturing  (Demonstration)

Additive manufacturing embraces a wide range of materials and derivative processes building parts suitable for end-use service. The virtually unlimited design freedom enabled by additive manufacturing allows the creation of shapes and the integration of feature and function that previously required subassemblies. Employment opportunities for creative individuals are growing while industry adopts AM methods. Ready access to workstations and service providers makes the Internet a growing marketplace for public AM gadgets.

Contest Guidelines

Advertising Design

Tests technical skills and creative aptitude just as though contestants worked for an ad agency. In addition to a written test, competitors will re-create a given advertisement on the computer. Competitors are judged on their accuracy, proficiency with industry standard software and ability to meet the given deadline. Contestants also compete in a creative portion of the competition. The creative portion involves the application of creative thinking and development of a design problem. Layout, drawing and illustration skills are used, as well as their ability to create vibrant, effective designs using the computer.

American Spirit

Notebook contest documenting SkillsUSA chapters’ community service, patriotism and citizenship, and promotion of career and technical education projects that demonstrate a belief in the American way of life and the purposes of SkillsUSA.

Architectural Drafting

Contestants will use their drafting skills to solve an Architectural problem. The problem includes a written test, a hand sketch, and drawings EITHER computer-generated or board drafted. If board drafting, please bring all necessary equipment. The contest tests the contestants’ problem solving abilities, not simply their CAD skills.

Audio/Radio Production

Students will produce (plan, write, voice, record, edit, render, etc.) a 5-minute radio production such as a PSA, NPR style soundscape, sound rich/NPR style news story, sound & interview only news story, etc. A 30-Second Ad Spot will be produced and inserted into the production. The complete production requires students to demonstrate their ability to plan a project that meets a specific prompt & run time; gather, edit and mix a variety of audio sources; and finally, render the completed project to a specified audio file.

Automated Manufacturing Technology

The contest evaluates teams for employment in integrated manufacturing technology fields of computer aided drafting/design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer numerical controlled machining (CNC). CAD operators construct the part geometry; the CAM operator generates the tool paths; and the CNC operator sets up and machines the part. Plotting is not a scored event; however the contestants must be able to generate a plot file that will be used to send their data to the plotter.

Automotive Refinishing Technology

Contestant will demonstrate the ability to perform jobs and skills based on the task list outlined by the National Institute for Automotive Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). The competition includes a series of workstations to assess skills in the following areas: surface preparation, spray gun operation, paint mixing, matching and applying, solving paint applications problems, determining finish defects, causes and cures and utilizing safety precautions. The competitor will also complete an interview, a written estimate and an ASE written exam. The overall appearance of the finished products, speed and proper safety practices will be judged.

Automotive Service Technology

Contestants will demonstrate their ability to perform jobs and skills based on the task list outlined by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Workstations consist of on-vehicle, simulations, bench and component testing and a written test. Contestants will be judged on technical competency, accuracy, quality, safety and ability to follow directions. There are thirteen skill stations including the written test.

Aviation Maintenance Technology

Contestants perform 12 tasks that represent the types of maintenance they will handle in the aircraft industry. The contest scope is consistent with the airframe and power plant mechanics certification guide published by the Federal Aviation Administration. Aviation maintenance is the only maintenance profession certified by the federal government.

Basic Health Care Skills

Contestants will demonstrate their knowledge and ability to perform entry-level procedures or skills based on the following list of core standards: Academic Foundations, Communication Skills, Career Opportunity Concepts and Systems, Employability and Teamwork, Ethical and Legal Issues, Safety Practices. Performance will be evaluated through various stations involving written, verbal and skills testing. References: Diversified Health Occupations, Seventh Edition by Louis Simmers, Thomson-Delmar Learning and National Health Care Foundation Standards.

Broadcast News Production

The contest is comprised of four student members. Two students serve as the news anchor team, one student will serve as the team’s director/technical director, and one student will serve as the floor director. Each team will have two hours to write and produce their rundown before assigned contest time. Teams will produce and complete a three-minute newscast as if it were live. Teams are evaluated on their broadcast writing ability, voice quality, diction, timing and pacing and performance techniques.

Building Maintenance

Students will demonstrate competencies related to the building maintenance trade. Students will be expected to compete in a higher level of mastery areas considering the fact that the contest is a national event. These areas will include, but are not limited to, carpet care, office and restroom cleaning, floor care and liquid measurement.

Cabinetmaking

Requires the building of a small cabinet from materials and drawings supplied. Contestants are expected to read the drawings, lay out and cut the parts using a table saw, laminate trimmer, hand drill, hinge boring machine and various hand tools. The parts must be accurately assembled, sanded and adjusted to tolerances specified by the judges.

Career Pathways Showcase

Student teams will use their course of study as the basis of a project that will benefit their class, school, community or industry. The project must highlight an aspect of their career cluster training. Upon completion of the project, the students will develop a display and use it within their community to explain their training and their project. This contest will judge mastery of their training, its application, the project’s benefit to their community, and display and presentation techniques.

Carpentry

Contestants will frame walls using wood and or metal steel studs, cut and install rafters, gable end overhangs, fascia board and soffit installation, install sheathing and or exterior siding and trim. Demonstration of knowledge of stair construction is required. Contestants will be judged on accuracy, ability to read and interpret blueprints, workmanship, safety and the proper use of tools, equipment and materials.

Chapter Business Procedure

Student teams of six members, will demonstrate their knowledge of parliamentary procedure in both a written exam and a team demonstration. The written exam will consist of 100 questions related to materials found in Robert’s Rules of Order—Newly Revised. Order a copy here. Scores are averaged and included as part of the team’s overall score. During the presentation, the team will demonstrate the running of a typical business meeting using a standard order of business. During the presentation, the team must properly insert into the order of business the secretary’s minutes, treasurer’s report and business items identified by the technical committee. In addition to the debate and transaction of the business items, teams will also properly demonstrate at least 6 different parliamentary procedure motions, including at least one of each of the following: main, privileged, subsidiary, incidental and motions that bring back issues to the floor. Minutes of the demonstration will be read by the secretary upon completion of the demonstration.

Chapter Display

Selects the outstanding promotional exhibit designed and constructed by SkillsUSA student members. The display is built around and articulates a common theme established annually by SkillsUSA. The contest involves a team of no more than three students setting up the display and one student presenting information about the display in a presentation/interview with judges.

The theme for this year’s contest can be found here.

CNC Milling Specialist

The contest will assess the ability to write the CNC program for a part drawing and materials, determine tool offsets, setting up the machine and producing a part on a milling machine. The contest will include a written test evaluating a contestant’s knowledge of Computer Numeric Control machining in such areas as: basic machining skills, CNC programming, setting up a CNC machine, performing mathematical calculations related to CNC, communication and inspection.

CNC Technician

Contestants will compete in NIMS Level I & II CNC machining skills, developing programs for 2.5 axis milling and 2 axis turning.

Contestantwill input word address programming codes (G-Codes) using Haas controllers. Related knowledge and skills in the areas of engineering drawing interpretation, GD&T, technical math, machining practices, use of precision measuring/hand tools and ability to communicate verbally using proper industry terminology are also part of this competition.

CNC Turning Specialist

The contest will assess the ability to write the CNC program for a part drawing and materials, determine tool offsets, setting up the machine and producing a part on a lathe. The contest will include a written test evaluating a contestant’s knowledge of Computer Numeric Control machining in such areas as: basic machining skills, knowledge of CNC programming, setting up a CNC machine, performing mathematical calculations related to CNC, communication and inspection.

Collision Repair Technology

Contestants demonstrate their ability to perform jobs and skills based on the task list outlined by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). The competition includes a series of workstations to assess skills in the following areas: metal straightening, welding, plastic repair and structural analysis. The overall appearance of the finished product, speed and proper safety practices are judged. There are written tests on estimating, structural analysis, and an ASE exam. The students are also interviewed by the judges.

Commercial Baking

Contestants are challenged to meet production and quality standards expected by industry. The contest includes both a written examination and practical exercises. Contestants demonstrate their knowledge and skills through scaling, mixing, preparing and baking six products. The products include breads, rolls, Danish, cookies and pies. The student also must demonstrate their cake decorating skills. The contestant must work efficiently to produce quality products in a job-like setting.

Community Action Project (Demonstration)

Purpose: To evaluate a team of two contestants ability to develop, execute, document and present a project that was completed in their community or school, which provides a benefit to the community or the school. To evaluate local activities that benefit the community and to recognize excellence and professionalism in the area of community service. This event also enables the community to become aware of the outstanding work being performed by career and technical education students.

Eligibility: Open to active SkillsUSA members enrolled in career and technical programs with entry-level job skills as the occupational objective. A letter from the appropriate school official on school letterhead stating that the contestant is classified under the provisions of Public Law 105-17, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997, is required for participation.

Contest Guidelines

Community Service

The community service competition evaluates local chapter activities that benefit the community. SkillsUSA chapters present their best community service project for the year. Contestants are evaluated on a notebook which reports their chapter’s community service project and on a live presentation, which is given to a panel of three judges.

Computer Programming

Competition consists of project coding and output, a skill-related written test and an interview. The contestants will receive a packet that includes instructions to the written test and each of the two projects. Each project’s specifications are written for Visual Basic, Java, C#, C++ and RPG. The projects will be saved on the Desktop in a folder called “SkillsUSA Contestant#_.” All projects will be downloaded to a jump drive or diskette (whichever the student prefers) and transferred to a main station to be printed, both code and scree

Cosmetology

Students will demonstrate their skills in haircutting, hair styling and long hair design in four separate tests. All work is performed on mannequins so everyone begins with the same model and the same type of hair. Contestants will create one 90 degree women’s haircut, one woman’s and one man’s cut from a finished photo. A display of creativity is seen in the long hair segment of the competition where these future salon professionals demonstrate their own design skills. A parade finale closes the contest with each contestant walking down the stage with their completed mannequins to present to the audience.

Crime Scene Investigation

Contestants will be directed to the crime scene and briefed as to the situation. The contestants will, as a three-person team, process the crime scene. They will legally search for, properly collect and remove evidence of the crime. One member of the team will be required to lift a latent fingerprint from a pre-selected item of evidence. After the scene has been processed, the contestants will write their report, draw the crime scene sketch and mark their evidence.

Criminal Justice

For students preparing to be police officers or to work in other areas of criminal justice. Typically this contest will utilize both written examination and practical exercises to evaluate the contestants’ abilities and knowledge of the field. The contestants are scored on their knowledge and application of U.S. Constitutional Law, written and verbal communications skills, and their ability to handle an entry-level law enforcement position.

Culinary Arts

The competition will encompass both hot and cold food preparation and presentation. Contestants will demonstrate their knowledge and skills through the production of a four-course menu in a full day competition. The contestants will be rated on their organization, knife skills, cooking techniques, creative presentation, sanitation food safety techniques, and above all, the quality and flavor of their prepared items. The high school competitors will work from one menu with standardized recipes. The college/postsecondary students will work from a market basket format and write their own menu and recipes the night before the competition.

Customer Service

Evaluates students’ proficiency in providing customer service. The contest involves live, role-playing situations. Contestants demonstrate their ability to perform customer service in both written and oral forms including telephone and computer skills, communications, problem solving, conflict resolution and business etiquette.

Dental Assisting

Contestants demonstrate procedures specified in the accreditation standards for Dental Assisting Education Programs of the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Students compete in chair-side assisting; preparation of dental materials; infection control; and emergency, laboratory and office procedures. Skills evaluated may include administrative, clinical or laboratory dental areas.

Diesel Equipment Technology

Contestants cycle through fourteen stations testing and troubleshooting engines, electrical and electronics systems, power train systems including chassis, transmissions and carriers. Contestants also demonstrate skills in hydraulic systems, vehicle inspections, fundamental failure analysis, brake systems, air-conditioning systems and general shop skills. Contestants also perform a job interview skills and complete a written test.

Digital Cinema Production

To evaluate each contestant’s preparation for employment and to recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the cinematography/short film production. The contest will be divided into four portions: a written exam that will assess knowledge in industry standards, a storyboard assignment to be completed in teams of two people, an interview with 1 or more judges and a short video (4.5 to 5 minutes) that will be filmed and edited on site. (meaning all work must be done between contest briefing and designated turn in time) All footage must be acquired after the contest has begun and must be filmed within the areas specified by the field assignment.

Early Childhood Education

Contestants will demonstrate their knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice and their ability to prepare and implement learning activities for children 3 to 5 years old. Contestants will prepare a written lesson plan and take a written test assessing their knowledge of child development and effective teaching strategies. They will demonstrate their understanding of the unique age-related learning characteristics of young children and the relevant social interactions as they implement the lesson.

Electrical Construction Wiring

Contestants are required to complete a written test of questions formulated from the latest edition of the National Electric Code (NEC), a practical conduit bending exercise and hands-on installation of a conduit system, cabling system and wiring devices. Working from drawings and specification sheets, contestants are required to install an electrical system common in most residential and light commercial projects. Judging is based on general workmanship, accuracy of layout and installation, and adherence to the current NEC and standard industry safe practices.

Electronics Technology

The contest is divided into five sections: customer service exam, written exam, soldering, breadboarding and troubleshooting. Contestants’ will demonstrate their knowledge of analog and digital circuitry; ability to troubleshoot electronic circuits; ability to construct and test experimental circuits; and, ability to design and select circuit components. All aspects of the competition test contestants’ abilities to use and calibrate electronic equipment, record and organize data, and demonstrate proper safety practices.

Employment Application Process

Tests the contestant’s readiness in applying for employment and their understanding of the process. The contest is available to students who are classified under the provisions of Public Law 105-17, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997. The competition includes completing an application and interviewing with the judges. Their resume and portfolio are used during their interviews.

Engineering Technology/Design

A team of three students demonstrates their ability to design an innovative engineering project and present those ideas along with a display and live model. During the presentation, students are judged on their performance as a professional team, presentation of their project to a panel of judges from the engineering field, their storyboard presentation model, and the overall effect of the presentation.

Entrepreneurship

A team event testing students’ knowledge in starting their own businesses by developing business plans that identify needed products or services in a local market. Emphasis is placed on financial planning and practicality of product/service. Teams give oral presentations based upon their written plans and the team must successfully answer questions by a team of judges in response to typical problem encountered by entrepreneurs during their first year of business.

Esthetics

The Esthetics competition evaluates the contestants’ techniques and professionalism in the field of skin care. Students will be tested in four different areas: an oral skin consultation; a written exam covering the fundamentals of skin care; sanitation; skin analysis; a hands-on basic facial demonstration; and, a day time and fantasy make-up application.

Extemporaneous Speaking

Requires contestants to give a three- to five-minute speech on an assigned topic with five minutes of advance preparation. Contestants enter the preparation area one at a time where they are given a speech topic. They are judged on voice, mechanics, platform deportment, organization and effectiveness.

Firefighting

The Firefighting contest evaluates the contestant’s preparation for firefighting careers through hands-on skill demonstrations and both written and oral presentations. Areas tested include: safety; breathing apparatus; fire streams; ladders, ropes, knots and hoses; fire control; ventilation; emergency medical care and rescue; and protecting fire cause evidence. Contestants are evaluated using standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

First Aid/CPR

Evaluates a contestant’s ability to perform procedures or take appropriate action based on scenarios presented related to CPR (Adult/AED, 2 man system, child and infant CPR) first aid medical emergencies. There is also a written exam. All skills are judged on nationally accepted standards identified by The American Red Cross, The American Heart Association, The American Safety and Health Institute and The National Safety Council.

Graphic Communications

Student competitors participate in an eight part contest which includes the following segments in alphabetical order:

  1. Digital Press – using a Ricoh Digital Press and or other available devices, the student will set up the machine for proper file transfer, creating a finished product that may consist of variable data and or inline finishing along with completing a short written test;
  2. Digital Workflow – the student accesses files and follows instructions to perform preflight operations, reviewing and making corrections as needed for correct output;
  3. Electronic Prepress – the student creates a file using Adobe InDesign, PhotoShop, and Illustrator on an Apple computer, following instructions to create a file that matches a provided sample;
  4. Finishing – the student operates a Baumcut programmable cutter, properly trimming down a sheet to its finished size, set up a table top Baumfolder for a tri-fold and a half-fold and complete a short written test;
  5. Offset Press Operations – using a Heidelberg Printmaster 46-2, the student will set up the feeder and delivery, mount and adjust plates, print two colors on a preprinted two color sheet creating a 4-color finished job;
  6. Oral Professional Assessment – the student participates in an interview exercise;
  7. Production Planning – the student will solve a production estimating problem relating to the cost justification of printing a job on a digital press verses an offset press. This area of the contest will be in conjunction with the Digital Press contest;
  8. Technical Knowledge Test – the student completes a general technical knowledge test developed using competencies from the introduction to graphic Communications accreditation area of PRINT-ED.

Graphic Imaging Sublimation (Demonstration)

Purpose: To rate a screen-printing contestant’s preparation for employment and to recognize outstanding contestants for excellence and professionalism in the field of graphic imaging.

Eligibility: Open to all active SkillsUSA members enrolled in technical education programs that teach graphic communications skills.

Contest Guidelines

Health Knowledge Bowl

Tests teams of four students on their collective knowledge of health occupations. Teams are judged on speed and accuracy answering questions in nine categories: (1) Academic Foundations; (2) Communication; (3) Systems; (4) Employability Skills; (5) Legal Responsibility; (6) Ethics; (7) Safety Practices; (8) Teamwork; and, (9) Health Maintenance.

Health Occupations Professional Portfolio

The Health Occupations Professional Portfolio contest recognizes students for their successful development of a professional portfolio. The competition evaluates the ability of the students to present themselves to a prospective employer. The contestants will show the use of the portfolio use effective communication skills in presenting. The contest consists of two parts: a portfolio notebook and a live presentation by the contestant.

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVACR)

The contest includes a series of testing stations designed to assess skills identified by industry HVACR standards. Industry equipment used during the work stations portion of the contest may include but is not limited to: ice machines, refrigerated display cases, small package HVAC units, furnaces and split-system air conditioning and/or heat pump units and geothermal units.

Humanoid Robotics (Demonstration)

Purpose: It is widely believed that, in the future, robots will take over dangerous jobs. Even today robots are used in the military to defuse land mines. Therefore, companies will be looking for talented individuals who can program these robots. In the end, robotics is quickly integrating into modern day life, creating a safer and more productive world. This event will access students’ basic programming knowledge using a humanoid robotics platform. A team of two contestants will be evaluated on their ability to develop, document, execute and deploy a computer program for a humanoid robot to complete a series of tasks. This challenge will recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the fields of HRI – Human-Robot Interaction, Computer Science, Computer Programming, and Robotics.

Eligibility: Open to active SkillsUSA members enrolled in CTE programs that are associated with or include Human-Robot Interaction, Computer Science, Computer Programming, or Robotics.

Contest Guidelines

Industrial Motor Control

Students demonstrate their knowledge of electrical principles, equipment and industry codes and standards as it relates to the design and installation of motor control systems. Students demonstrate their skills and abilities in applying that knowledge by properly installing motor control equipment and associated enclosures, raceways, pilot devices and circuitry in accordance with accepted industry practice and National Electric Code requirements.

Information Technology Services (formerly Computer Maintenance)

Competition requires contestants to identify and correct end -user computing issues including configuration problems, operating system failures, boot issues, basic client side network problems and install common software components. The contest also includes client or customer facing issues pertaining to intake or resolution of a customer installation or repair. Students must demonstrate basic ability to configure & secure SOHO networks, manage client side virtual machines, basic understanding of Windows registry, use of remote assistance software to support remote clients, comprehensive knowledge of commands, and work with mobile devices. In addition, the contestants take the A+ Certification exam. Their score on this exam is used as the basis for the written portion of the contest, and contestants who pass the exam receive their A+ Certification.

 

Interactive Application and Game Development (Demonstration)

Teams must produce an original, high-quality prototype or sample of an interactive multimedia application or video game during the school year immediately preceding the contest deadline. Their production should include concept art and/or storyboards, the sample or prototype itself, an executive overview of the project, and a printed résumé for each team member. Résumés should include the industry experience gained from developing the contest submission, time invested, and the professional and academic relevance to the contestant’s career ambitions.

Contest Guidelines

Internetworking

The contest consists of three main parts–networking design, general networking knowledge and hands-on evaluations. The networking design problem tests a contestant’s ability to design functionality, scalability, adaptability and manageability of an internetworking system. The online written portion tests the student’s complete knowledge of internetworking concepts. The hands-on component demonstrates the abilities of the contestant to make cables, trouble shoot network systems, configure routers, switches and servers, to deliver customer service in a technical assistant center environment. The contestants will find errors in WAN and LAN networks; do an ISP configuration using routers and switches; talk a technician through an error they are having on their network; and, take an online, certification type test. The national contest is based on the most current CCNA certification. In today’s job market system administration skills are needed, therefore the server skills listed here will be scored: Install DNS, create a record, install active directory service, and DHCP. In addition, contestants should have knowledge of creating user and group accounts on Windows Server 2008. Use this link to receive a 180 day trial version of server 2008: www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/try-it.aspx

Job Interview

Divided into three phases: completion of employment applications; preliminary interviews with receptionist; and, in-depth interviews. Contestants are evaluated on their understanding of employment procedures faced in applying for positions in the occupational areas for which they are training.

Job Skill Demonstration A

Contestants demonstrate and explain an entry-level skill used in the occupational area for which they are training. Competitors in Job Skill A must demonstrate a career objective in an occupational area that is included in one of the contest areas of the SkillsUSA Championships.

Job Skill Demonstration Open

Contestants demonstrate and explain an entry-level skill used in the occupational area for which they are training or outside of their training program. Any technical skill may be demonstrated.

Major Appliance and Refrigeration Technology

Contestants rotate from station to station diagnosing common service issues on refrigerators, washers, dryers, ranges, microwave ovens and dishwashers. Contestants also demonstrate their ability to braze by assembling a copper and steel tubing project per a schematic provided. The Contestants customer satisfaction and employability skills will also be evaluated using, interviews, job applications and various types of assessments. There is also a major appliance technology general knowledge learning exercise.

Marine Service Technology

The Marine Service Technology contest includes individual skill stations and a written or online test. The hands on test stations include many aspects of 2-stroke and 4-stoke outboard, stern drive and inboard troubleshooting and repair. Students should be proficient in marine application electrical/ignition systems, fuel systems, cooling systems, lubrication systems, drive/transmission systems and boat and trailer rigging and repair. The written or online test includes the above listed topics including diagnostics, service and repair of marine accessory items. Contestants will be judged on safe work practices, cleanliness, organizational skills, accuracy, speed and completion of assigned tasks, worksheets and paperwork.

Masonry

While production is very important, quality workmanship is vital. The students will be expected to construct a composite brick & block project in a six-hour period that will test their ability to meet industry standards in quality. In addition to a written exam, the critical eye of journeyman judges will be the deciding factor in determining the winners. The contest project will include components of the most frequently used details in residential construction.

Mechatronics

Requires contestants to understand the new industrial discipline of “mechatronics,” the ability to understand complex systems that integrate various elements in the mechanical, fluid power, and controls domain, combined with the ability to work in a team environment with people of different areas of expertise. Mechatronic specialists must therefore have well development skills in pneumatic technology, electrical and electronics systems, mechanical systems and general automation techniques and practices, including systematic troubleshooting methods. This competition consists of three events designed to measure the skills required in the modern automated manufacturing environment. Contestants will be required to assemble, adjust and test an automated machine system, troubleshoot and repair a faulty machine system and take a comprehensive written test. The contest elements have been designed to be as realistic as possible, closely resembling the tasks and activities of modern automation professionals. High school teams of two will compete in a construction phase and a troubleshooting phase. In addition, there will be an individual oral interview.

College/postsecondary teams are required to provide their own PLC that will be used in the construction phase.

Medical Assisting

Contestants are tested on their skills in the clinical and administrative setting. They are judged on speed, the use of correct safety measures and their ability to interact personally with a patient. The students are also judged on general office skills, communication skills, patient education, knowledge of anatomy and physiology, terminology, instrument identification and equipment, as well as on a variety of clinic procedures and techniques. Contestants need to be able to assess a situation in a short period of time and perform a skill required for that situation within the given time limit. Spelling counts for all testing and documentation.

Medical Math

Contestants demonstrate their knowledge of general math concepts used in the healthcare fields. They complete a written test that may include the use of ratio/proportion, dosage calculation, metric and household equivalents, Roman numerals, abbreviations, and general math including percentages, among other medical math-related problems.

Medical Terminology

To evaluate the knowledge of medical terminology and abbreviations of an individual preparing for employment in the health occupations fields.

Mobile Electronics Installation (Demonstration)

This event tests contestant’s abilities top perform standard installation practices used by certified, professional mobile electronics installers. These skills have been established through the certification objectives and items created for the Basic MECP certification by the Consumer Electronics Association. This event includes a written examination covering the Basic MECP certification, a professional interview and five hands-on applications that include taking electrical measurements, installing consumer electronics equipment in a mobile environment, soldiering, working with relay circuits and troubleshooting electronic circuitry.

Download contest guidelines.

Mobile Robotics Technology

The contest will test the ability to perform, exhibit and compile skills and knowledge from the following list of competencies determined by the SkillsUSA Mobile Robotic technical committee. It will evaluate each contestant’s preparation for employment in the field of robotics with emphasis on the team approach to problem solving in a work environment.

Motorcycle Service Technology

Contestants perform tasks representative of those encountered in a dealership’s service department. Technical skills include performing scheduled maintenance tasks; use of service, electrical diagnostic and parts manuals; electrical diagnostics; precision measurement; brake service; chassis/suspension service; fuel delivery system inspection and repair; transmission and drive systems; power train systems; on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Judges will look for clean and organized work habits; correct use of reference materials; the ability to follow directions; and good technical skills.

Nail Care

The purpose of this contest is to evaluate each contestant’s preparation for employment and to recognize outstanding students’ excellence and professionalism in the field of nail technology. The contest consists of 6 separate segments; oral communication skills, acrylic application, tip and wrap application, nail polish application, nail art pedicuring and a written exam. The written exam tests basic knowledge of proper sanitation, chemical safety, salon procedures, etc. The practical applications evaluate the contestant’s ability to perform the most common nail services in the salon today.

Nurse Assisting

Students will demonstrate knowledge and skill in performing personal care, encouraging patient independence, assisting with ambulation, and performing other routine tasks, including standard infection control procedures used in basic nurse assisting. Students will demonstrate knowledge and abilities in CPR, and the measurement of vital signs. Contestants will be familiar with basic anatomy, communications skills, legal/ethical issues and employment skills.

Occupational Health and Safety

Contestants demonstrate the safety and health endeavors of their respective technical programs by putting together a scrapbook that highlights important programs, activities and events related to their school’s health and safety program. The competition encourages chapters to be active in all phases of SkillsUSA. The health and safety activities of the chapters are evaluated on the planning and organization of four projects and the final outcome of those projects. Students are interviewed and scrapbooks are scored by a panel of judges based on the quality and content of the books and on the candidates’ presentation during the interview process.

Opening and Closing Ceremonies

A teamwork and oral presentation contest that evaluates teams’ understanding of the symbolic representation of the colors and assembled parts of the SkillsUSA emblem. Each team includes seven registered members in the roles of president, vice president, parliamentarian, reporter, treasurer, secretary and historian. The contest is a demonstration of the SkillsUSA Opening and Closing Ceremonies conducted according to the script and description as printed in the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards.

Get tips and tools for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Outstanding Chapter

The Outstanding Chapter consists of activities members have been involved with during the school year. Activities consist of chapter meetings, leadership training, publicity, community service projects, professional development, program of work, awards, local and state competition and other selected chapter activities. Each activity is documented according to guidelines and submitted in a scrapbook for judging. One student representative is interviewed during the competition.

Photography

Contestants demonstrate their ability to use digital SLR’s, image editing software (Adobe Photoshop) and professional studio lighting. Students perform on-site photography, portrait studio lighting & posing, process and print digital photos and submit two 11×14 or 16×20 mounted & matted photographs in advance of the contest to be judged and displayed at the competition. Contestants are evaluated on their mastery of entry-level job skills.

Pin Design

Students present their state-winning pin along with their artwork and participate in an oral presentation regarding all aspects of their creation of the design. He/she will explain how the pin represents the state, its unique qualities and why another SkillsUSA student or adult member would want to wear it.

Plumbing

Contestants “rough-in” hot and cold water lines with copper tubing and “rough-in” sanitary drainage, waste and vent lines with cast iron and PVC plastic for a water closet, a lavatory, a washer box and a floor drain. Water pipes are pressure tested on completed projects. Professional plumbers and pipefitters judge the contestants on the basis of accuracy, workmanship, proper selection and use of tools and supplies, and proper safety procedures.

Power Equipment Technology

Tests the student’s skills in all areas of this technology. They must know and understand both 2 & 4 cycle engines. They should know and understand the related theories that go along with the types of engines that they will come across in the industry. They should also understand drive trains, hydraulic, as well as wiring schematics. Contestants will need to be versed in customer service. As they rotate through the various stations they are judged and scored on both physical and oral skills. They are further tested with their ability to read and follow the job tasks that are given.

Practical Nursing

Contestants will demonstrate their ability to perform procedures/skills consistent with Practical Nursing competencies as determined by State Boards of Nursing. Contestants are judged on their knowledge of medical terminology, body structure and function, nutrition, medications and nursing care. They must also demonstrate their abilities to perform job skills such as: administration of oral, subcutaneous and nasogastric medications; physical assessment; insertion of a nasogastric tube; sterile dressing change and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. At each workstation they are judged on accuracy of their skill, organization, communication and safety.

Prepared Speech

Requires students to deliver a speech five to seven minutes in length on a common theme established by National SkillsUSA early in the school year. Contestants are evaluated on their ability to present thoughts relating to a central theme clearly and effectively, and on voice, mechanics, and platform deportment.

The theme for this year’s contest can be found here.

Principles of Engineering/Technology

Evaluates contestants’ understanding of basic technical concepts/principles of the applied sciences and ability to demonstrate and explain the concept/principle in action and application. Any technical concept may be demonstrated, provided it is related to the principles of technology curriculum and incorporates basic principles of the applied sciences.

Promotional Bulletin Board

Judges bulletin board displays created by SkillsUSA chapters based on the annual SkillsUSA theme. The bulletin boards promote SkillsUSA, career and technical education in general, and related occupational information. An accompanying notebook documents the development and construction of the bulletin board. An oral presentation explains the process, purpose and educational value.

The theme for this year’s contest can be found here.

Quiz Bowl

The Quiz Bowl tests a team of 5 competitors’ ability to quickly respond to questions covering the areas of academic knowledge, professional development and current events. The participants respond to a question by activating a buzzer system. The teams receive one point for a correct answer and lose a point for each incorrect answer. The active rounds (preliminary and finals) are 100 questions each.

For additional Quiz Bowl information. see: www.quizbowl-skillsusa.org.

Related Technical Math

On a written test, contestants demonstrate skills required to solve mathematical problems commonly found in the skilled trades and professional and technical occupations. Skills demonstrated include addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, fractions and decimals; applied word problems; percentages; ratio proportions; averages; area; volume; metric measures and traditional (Imperial) measures and trigonometry.

Download a sample version of a Related Technical Math test.

Residential Systems Installation and Maintenance

This contest replaces Electronics Applications.

To test each contestant’s preparation for employment and to recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the field of home technology integration. The contest is made up of multiple stations where the contestants will be judged and scored on the following skills and knowledge. Installation of residential products including Home Theater system, computer networking, video security equipment and construct the various cables used at each of the stations. In addition, students will need the knowledge of the different smart home technologies. There will also be a written test that will includes Computer Networking Fundamentals, Audio and Video Fundamentals, Home Security and Surveillance Systems, Telecommunications Standards, Structured Wiring (Low Voltage & High voltage, and Systems Integration)

Restaurant Service

Contestants are tested on skills required in the “front of the house” of a fine restaurant. The focus is on guest service and guest relations in the dining room including: table set up; greeting guests; reservations procedures; presentation of menus; description of food, drinks, soups and specials of the day; taking orders; serving each course and clearing the table after each course; and preparation and presentation of the check and closing remarks. Contestants are judged on personal appearance, tableside manner, professionalism, ease with guests, courtesy, general knowledge and technical and verbal skills.

Robotics: Urban Search and Rescue (Demonstration)

Purpose: To evaluate team members’ skills and preparation for employment in fields related to and including robotics, engineering, automation, manufacturing, electronics, and emergency services. To recognize outstanding performance by participants in scenarios that require problem solving and teamwork in a real-world situation.

Eligibility: The RoboRescue Challenge is open to active SkillsUSA members who are associated with Computer Science, Computer Programming, or Robotics.

Contest Guidelines

Robotics and Automation Technology

Challenges two-person teams to demonstrate operation of a five-axis servo-robot along with a set of sensors and motorized devices to resolve a simulated production process problem. Teams set up and demonstrate operation of a robotic workcell from a word problem. Contestants are required to create a flow chart and sequence of operation. Teams are also judged on efficiency, speed and teamwork.

Screen Printing Technology

Contestants are tested on their ability to prepare screens, register a multi-color design on a manual four color one station rotary press, and print a multi-color design on a manual six color four station rotary press. Contestants also complete a written technical knowledge test and participate in an oral professional assessment.

Sheet Metal

Contestants are tested on their ability to perform such jobs as connecting sheet metal pieces with drive cleats, spot welding and riveting. Skills tested may include, but are not limited to, straight duct, transition fitting and 45-degree entry tap fitting. Professional sheet metal workers judge contestants on the use of hand tools, correctness of layout and shop safety procedures. Contestants will be judged on accuracy, completeness, and craftsmanship.

T-shirt Design

The contest is designed to assess the ability of the competitor to design and produce a drawing of that design, as well as give a presentation regarding all aspects of his or her creation of the design.

TeamWorks

Teams of four students will be required to build a construction project, over three days, that will demonstrate their ability to work together as a Team. Each Team will be required to understand the project elements based on a detailed blue print and special instructions presented at the pre-competition orientation. Each Team must write an project completion “action plan” and will present their “action plan” as one of the “key” elements of the competition (all Team members must participate during the presentation). During the “construction project”, the Team will demonstrate their ability to work together as a Team by using their carpentry, electrical, plumbing and masonry skills. Judging is based on the Team’s presentation skills, ability to construct the project per “competition specified” building codes, jobsite safety and cleanliness, organized and correct ordering of materials from the competition material depot, proper use and accountability of tools and equipment and the rate of completion of the project for the Team. Teamworks is not only a Skills USA competition, but a way of learning, for each Team member, to help maximize their skills for their future.

Technical Computer Applications

Contestants will be expected to demonstrate installation, configuration and use of Windows, Mac OSX and Linux Professional Operating Systems and one or more integrated office suite packages including email, word processing, spreadsheet applications, database applications, web page development, money management applications, presentations applications, internet browser applications, etc. The use of Open source software such as OpenOffice will be preferable. Microsoft Office and other integrated office suites could be used. The utilization of instant messaging, collaboration and social networking software will be required during the contest. Contestants will be expected to perform in teams while demonstrating individual technical skills. The contest will include an oral presentation demonstrating the student’s ability to communicate with others, a hands-on skills demonstration, and a one hour time allotted written examination.

Technical Drafting

This contest evaluates contestant’s preparation for employment and recognizes outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the field of technical drafting. The contest will focus on the solution of industry-developed problems by applying appropriate technical drafting skills and tools including computer-aided drafting (CAD).

Telecommunications Cabling

For students interested in voice and data network cabling and installation. Industry indicates that 80 percent of the problems in computer networks, security systems installations and others are caused by cabling issues not the computers, servers, switches, etc. This competition tests to worldwide industry standards related to cabling for data and voice connections, physical and logical networks and signal transmission. Contestants demonstrate skills in fiber and copper cable termination, pulling and mounting cable, patch panel installation and termination, installing jacks, cable testing and troubleshooting, and providing customer service. Both CAT 5/6e and fiber optics cable are represented. The contest stresses safety in all activities.

Television (Video) Production

Teams of two contestants are required to plan and shoot a video (generally 30 seconds or one minute in length) on location to convey the “theme” of the event. Editing is done in the contest area with special emphasis on professional production of the video by industry standards, quality of audio and video, and adequate conveyance of the “theme” to the viewer.

Web Design

Teams will complete a series of challenges focusing on website usability and accessibility, with at least one challenge related to scripting. Each challenge must be documented, clearly demonstrating the skills as outlined in the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards 2011–12.

Welding

Competitors receive contest drawings and a set of welding procedure specifications. All drawings, welding symbols, and welding terms conform to the latest edition of the American Welding Society standards. Through a series of stations, contestants are tested on various aspects of welding: measuring weld replicas, using weld measuring gauges; laying out a plate and using oxy-acetylene equipment to cut several holes that are checked for accuracy and quality; Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) on steel making welds in various positions using short circuiting transfers; Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) using a shielding gas, making welds in various positions and, using a combination machine capable of providing the correct welding current for shielded metal arc (SMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). Competitors complete the steel project and weld an aluminum project in various positions using a variety of filler metals.

An overview of the contest is below:

Welding Fabrication

A team competition that requires three students from each school to use their welding and fabrication skills to build a designed project from the given material. Each team is required to be skilled in the following welding and cutting processes: SMAW, GTAW, GMAW, FCAW and OFC. The students are also required to be proficient in using the common tools of a workshop. A theme-based project will be constructed by the students based on the prints drawn by each team.

Welding Art/Sculpture

Contestants demonstrate their ability to design and produce a sculpture of that design, as well as give a presentation regarding all aspects of his/her creation of the design. Previously welded sculptures created for regional and state competitions will be displayed for the national competition. A notebook is required displaying evidence of original work. Each participant is interviewed regarding aspects of design and creation of the piece. There will be no live welding on site.