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Competition Descriptions

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There are so many amazing competitions available to our student members, many of which are not program or career-cluster-specific. Below are general descriptions of each competition offered at the State Leadership and Skills Conference. It is also recommended that you view the following resources to help decide which competitions are available to your students or best suit their skills. Keep in mind that there are typically over a dozen competitions available to each student to choose from, no matter the program they are enrolled in.

Additional
Resources:


Notes:

  • Non-Program or Non-Career-Cluster-Specific competitions are those that any student can enter. They will potentially compete against students from across multiple programs or career clusters.

  • Some competitions require that the student competitor be classified under the provisions of Public Law 105-17, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997. Those will be noted in their description.

  • Students may compete in a STATE ONLY and a non-state-only competition at this year's State Leadership and Skills Conference. It must fit with their schedule, however. In the case that it will not, they will be required to compete in the non-state-only competition, unless the Advisor decides otherwise. All conflicts or potential conflicts will be communicated to the Advisor.

3D Visualization and Animation

This competition requires a team of two student members to produce high quality images and an animated short subject using computer-generated 3D images. Students are evaluated on their technical knowledge, production skills, and creative abilities, including visual development and storyboarding.

In this event, students compete as a team of 2.

Action Skills (includes Middle School)

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

 

This event is open to all three levels (middle school, high school, and college/post-secondary. 

In this event, students compete individually. If a model is needed for the purposes of a competitor's demonstration, they must provide their own student models. This competition is only open to students classified under the provisions of Public Law 105-17, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997.

Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, also know as 3D Printing, embraces a wide range of materials and derivative processes to build 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 sub-assemblies.

In this event, students compete as a team of 2.

Advertising Design

This competition tests technical skills and creative aptitude as though competitors worked for an ad agency. Competitors will recreate a provided advertisement on the computer. They are judged on their accuracy, proficiency with industry software and ability to meet a deadline. Competitors also complete a creative portion, which involves the application of creative thinking and a design challenge. Layout, drawing and illustration skills are used, as well as the ability to create vibrant, effective designs using the computer.

 

Contestants compete individually in this event.

American Spirit (includes Middle School)

This is a professional portfolio competition documenting a SkillsUSA chapter's 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.

In this event, students compete as a team of 3. This competition is  open to Middle School students in addition to Secondary (High School) and Post-Secondary (College) students.

Architectural Drafting

Competitors will use their drafting skills to solve an architectural problem. The problem may include a hand sketch and/or drawings that are either computer-generated or board drafted. This is mean to test the competitors' problem-solving abilities along with their CAD skills.

 

Competitors compete individually in this event.

Audio-Radio Production

Students will produce (plan, write, voice, record, edit and render) up to a three-minute radio production such as a PSA, sound rich/NPR style news story or a sound and interview news story. A 60-second streaming radio infomercial and 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 and run time; and to gather, edit and mix a variety of audio sources. This must be rendered in a specified audio file format.

In this event, students compete as a team of 2.

Automated Manufacturing Technology

The competition evaluates teams in the 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.

In this event, students compete as a team of 3.

Automotive Maintenance & Light Repair (MLR) - (High School Only)

This competition is consistent with the automotive maintenance and light repair task list outlined in guidelines published by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the ASE Education foundation. Competitors demonstrate their ability to perform jobs and/or skills selected from the contest standards.

In this event, students compete as individuals. This competition is ONLY open to Secondary students (High School).

Automotive Refinishing Technology

Competitors demonstrate the ability to perform 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 surface preparation, spray gun operation, paint mixing, matching and applying, solving paint application problems, determining finish defects with an understanding of causes and cures, masking, and utilizing safety precautions. Competitors may also complete an interview and an ASE written exam.

In this event, students compete as individuals.

Automotive Service Technology (College / Post-Secondary Only)

This competition is consistent with the automobile technician task list outlined in guidelines published by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the ASE Education Foundation. Competitors demonstrate their ability to perform jobs and/or skills selected from the contest standards.

In this event, students compete as individuals. This competition is ONLY open to Post-Secondary students (College).

Aviation Maintenance Technology

Competitors perform tasks that represent the types of maintenance they will be exposed to in the aircraft industry. The competition scope is consistent with the general, airframe, and powerplant maintenance technician certification guide published by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In this event, students compete individually.

Baking and Pastry Arts

Competitors are challenged to meet production and quality standards expected by industry. Competitors demonstrate their knowledge and skill through scaling, mixing, preparing and baking up to eight products. The products include breads, rolls, cookies, and assorted pastries. The student must demonstrate their cake decorating skills and work efficiently to produce quality products in a job-like setting.

In this event, students compete as individuals. 

Barbering

This competition is defined by industry standards as identified by the barbering technical committee and the National Barbering Association. The competition is divided into four separate skill performance tasks including haircutting, hair styling, hair color, beard design and coloring. Creativity is assessed in the creative cut and beard design, while haircutting is evaluated in the recreation of men's haircuts from a photograph or other provided material. 

In this event, students compete as individuals. Competitors must provide their own student models.

Basic Health Care Skills (High School only)

Competitors 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 teamworking, ethical and legal issues, and safety practices. Performance will be evaluated through various stations involving skills testing and both written and verbal assessments.

In this event, students compete individually. This competition is for High School students only.

Biotechnology Knowledge Bowl (High School only) - (STATE ONLY)

Competitors work on a team of 4 students and will be tested on their collective knowledge within the biotechnology field. Teams will be judged on accuracy of answering questions in categories including molecular and cell biology, microbiology, data analysis, biomanufacturing, instrumentations use, regulatory affairs, bioethics, employability skills, safety practices, biotechnology current events, communication and teamwork.

In this event, students compete as a team of 4. This competition is for High School students only.

Building Maintenance

Competitors demonstrate competencies related to the building maintenance trade. These areas may include, but are not limited to, carpet care, office and restroom cleaning, floor care and liquid measurement. 

 

Contestants compete individually in this event. This competition is only open to students classified under the provisions of Public Law 105-17, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997.

Chapter Display
Cabinetmaking

Competitors build a small cabinet or piece of furniture from the supplied materials and draws or model. Competitors are expected to read drawing or use a model, lay out, create a cut list, and cut the parts using a variety of tools including, but not limited to, the following: table saw, miter saw, drill, hinge boring machine, and various hand tools. The parts must be accurately assembled, sanded, and adjusted to tolerances specified by the judges.

In this event, students compete individually.

Career Pathways Showcase (6 separate competitions based on career) 

Students 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 the community to explain their training and project. This competition will judge mastery of their training, its application, the project's benefit to their community , and display and presentation techniques.

There are six separate competitions under Career Pathways Showcase, each representing a different career cluster. They each follow the same technical standards and separate medalists are rewarded based on the career cluster.

 

The six competition career clusters are:

  • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

  • Arts and Communication

  • Business, Management and Technology

  • Health Services

  • Human Services

  • Industrial and Engineering Technology

 

A breakdown of what programs fall under each cluster can be found in the technical standards. All programs should fall within one of these clusters.

In this event, students compete as a team of 3.

Carpentry

Competitors will be judged in a variety of skills that may include: frame walls using wood and/or 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 constructions is required. Competitors will be judged on accuracy, ability to read and interpret blueprints, workmanship, safety and the proper use of tools, equipment and materials.

In this event, students compete individually.

CERT / Community Emergency Response Team (STATE ONLY)

Competitors will have an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills they will need to respond to their community's immediate needs in the aftermath of a disaster, when emergency services are not immediately available. The skills will come from CERT training materials. Areas include emergency medical skills, victim carries, cribbing, building evaluation, fire extinguisher use, search and rescue, utility controls, and other skills taught in CERT training.

In this event, students compete as a team of 2. 

Chapter Business Procedure

Students demonstrate knowledge of parliamentary procedure in both written and team demonstration. The written test covers questions related to materials found in Robert's Rules of Order - Newly Revised. During the demonstration, the team will run a typical business meeting using a standard order of business. The team must properly insert into the order of business the secretary's minutes, treasurer's reports 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 six 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. The competitors do NOT have to be current chapter officers or student leaders. If they are currently an officer or student leader, they do NOT have to participate in the role/position that they actually hold within their chapter.

In this event, students compete as a team of 6.

Chapter Display (includes Middle School)

SkillsUSA student members build a three-dimensional display that articulates the annual SkillsUSA National theme. The members of the chapter build the display and three students present information about the display during a presentation and interview with judges.

In this event, students compete as a team of 3. This competition is open to all three levels (Middle School, High School, and College / Post-Secondary).

CNC 2-Axis Turning Programmer

This competition evaluates each competitor's ability to independently plan and program jobs for CNC (Computer Numerical Control) turning centers and provide instructions for operators to execute. Competitors program part features and generate NC code using CAM software, troubleshoot G-code programming errors, interpret prints (including geometric dimensioning and tolerancing or GD&T), measure/gauge parts, and/or demonstrate their theoretical knowledge of CNC turning center configuration, setup, and operation. This competition no longer uses physical simulators.

In this event, students compete individually.

CNC 3-Axis Milling Programmer

This competition evaluates each competitor's ability to independently plan and program jobs for CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machines and provide instructions for operators to execute. Competitors program part features and generate NC code using CAM software, troubleshoot G-code programming errors, interpret prints (including geometric dimensioning and tolerancing or GD&T), measure/gauge parts, and demonstrate their theoretical knowledge of CNC milling machine configuration, setup, and operation. This competition no longer uses physical simulators.

In this event, students compete individually.

CNC 5-Axis Milling Programmer

This competition evaluates each competitor's ability to independently plan and program jobs for 5-Axis CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machines and provide instructions for operators to execute. Competitors program part features and generate NC code using CAM software, troubleshoot G-code programming errors, interpret prints (including geometric dimensioning and tolerancing or GD&T), measure/gauge parts, and demonstrate their theoretical knowledge of 5-Axis CNC milling machine configuration, setup, and operation. This competition no longer uses physical simulators.

In this event, students compete individually.

CNC Programmer

This competition evaluates each competitor's ability to independently plan and program jobs for 2-Asix CNC (Computer Numerical Control) turning centers and 3-Axis CNC milling machines and provide instructions for operators to execute. Competitors program part features and generate NC code using CAM software, troubleshoot G-code programming errors, interpret prints (including geometric dimensioning and tolerancing or GD&T), measure/gauge parts, and demonstrate their theoretical knowledge of CNC turning center and milling machine configuration, setup, and operation. This competition no longer uses physical simulators.

In this event, students compete individually.

Collision Damage Appraisal

This competition is consistent with expectations and competencies associated with collision repair center estimators (Blue Printers), insurance auto claim appraisers/adjusters and independent appraisers. Competitors demonstrate their ability to perform jobs and skills based on and may include, but not limited to, virtual appraisals, computerized estimating specific to frontal damage, unibody damage, light mechanical damage, rear damage including quarter panel replacement and total loss evaluations. The overall accuracy and quality of the finished products, efficiency and communication are used in the judging process.

In this event, students compete individually.

Collision Repair Technology

Competitors 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 ASE Education Foundation. The competition includes a series of workstations to assess skills that may include the following areas: metal straightening, attachment methods, plastic repair and structural analysis. The overall appearance of the finished product, speed and proper safety practices are judged. 

In this event, students compete individually.

Commercial Roofing

Competitors will install the most commonly used roof type, thermoplastic, on the same mockup used for NRCA's ProCertification exam. Participants will put on all required safety equipment, roll out a sheet of thermoplastic membrane, mechanically attach it to the deck, flash the perimeter edge wall, and flash around a box and pip boot. 

In this event, students compete individually.

Commercial sUAS Drone (includes Middle School)

This competition is designed to evaluate team members' skills and preparation for employment in multiple career fields related to the safe and efficient use of drone technology in the National Airspace System and to recognize outstanding performance by participants in real-world scenario-based situations.

In this event, students compete as a Team of 2. This competition is open to Middles School, Secondary (High School), and Post-Secondary (College). For the Middle School level, this is a State Only competition. For Secondary (High School) and Post-Secondary (College), this is both a state and national competition.

Community Action Project (includes Middle School)

Competitors develop, execute, document and present a completed community service project that provides a benefit to the community or the school and demonstrates excellence and professionalism. The project may be a larger school/community project, however, the team of two students must be part of the core organization team and document the project and results based on the guidelines in the standards.

This competition includes all three levels (Middle School, High School, and College / Post-Secondary).

In this event, students compete as a Team of 2. This competition is only open to students classified under the provisions of Public Law 105-17, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997.

Community Service (includes Middle School)

The competition evaluates local chapter activities that benefit the communities while becoming productive community members. SkillsUSA chapters present their best community service project for the year. Competitors are evaluated on a professional portfolio that details their chapter's community service project and on a presentation to a panel of judges. The contestants are evaluated on their professionalism in the visual representation of the project, designing and implementing an engaging presentation, and effective delivery of that presentation.

This competition includes all three levels (Middle School, High School, and College / Post-Secondary).

In this event, students compete as a Team of 3.

Computer Programming

Competitors demonstrate knowledge of computer programming, describe how programs and programming languages work, and describe the purposes and practices of structured programming. The competition may include a computer programming problem consisting of background information and program specifications. An appropriate (successfully executable) computer program from design notes and instructions will be developed.

In this event, students compete individually.

Cosmetology

Students demonstrate their skills in hair color, haircutting, hair styling and long hair design in four separate test. All work is performed on mannequins, so everyone beings with the same model and the same type of hair. Competitors will perform one woman's cut and one man's cut from a finished photo. They will also create one uniform layered haircut. A display of creativity is seen in the long hair segment of the competition where competitors demonstrate their own design skills. 

In this event, students compete individually.

Crime Scene Investigation

Contestants will demonstrate basic skills associated with working a crime scene. Teams will process a crime scene to include searching, identifying evidence, measuring, photographing, and preparing a sketch. Team members will also demonstrate basic crime scene skills such as lifting a fingerprint, swabbing serological evidence, packaging evidence or similar skills. The team may also have to interpret common crime scene evidence such as classifying a fingerprint pattern. Report narratives, crime logs and similar paperwork may also be required.

In this event, students compete as a team of 3.

Criminal Justice

This competition is designed for students preparing to be police officers or to work in other areas of criminal justice. Competitors are evaluated on their abilities and knowledge of the field. They will be scored on their knowledge and application of U.S. Constitutional Law, written and verbal communication skills, and their ability to handle an entry-level law enforcement position. Contestants will participate in multiple practical scenarios, evaluate specific situations and articulate reasoning for their decisions.

In this event, students compete individually.

Criminal Justice Quiz Bowl (Middle School & High School only) - (STATE ONLY)

This competition tests a team of three to five competitors on their ability to quickly respond to knowledge questions covering criminal justice related material, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, current events, and SkillsUSA professional development curriculum. Materials to study are found within the technical standards. Teams will demonstrate communication skills, teamwork, problem solving and time-management skills by determining the answer to each questions clearly within the allotted time.

In this event, students compete in teams of 3 to 5. This contest is open to Middle School and Secondary (High School) only.

Culinary Arts

The competition will encompass both hot and cold food preparation and presentation. Competitors will demonstrate their knoledge and skills through the production of menu items meeting industry standards. The competitors are evaluated on organization, knife skills, cooking techniques, creative presentation, sanitation and food safety, and the quality and flavor of their prepared items.​ At the state level, menus are provided in advance of competition.

In this event, students compete individually. 

Customer Service

The competition evaluates students' proficiency in providing customer service. The competition involves live, role-playing situations. Competitors 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.

In this event, students compete individually.

Cyber Security

This competition is open to students enrolled in programs with Cyber Security, Information Security, or Systems and Networking Security Architecture as a part of the curriculum. Students will be tested on the elements of the NIST Publication 800-181 Cybersecurity Workforce Framework categories including Securely Provision, Operate and Maintain, and Protect and Defend.

In this event, students compete as a team of 2.

Dental Assisting

Competitors demonstrate procedures specified in the accreditation standards of Dental Assisting Education Programs of the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Skill performance may include one or more: 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.

In this event, students compete individually.

Diesel Equipment Technology

Competitors cycle through various stations testing and troubleshooting engines, electrical and electronics systems, powertrain systms including chassis, transmissions and carriers. Competitors demonstrate skills in hydraulic systms, vehicle inspections, fundamental failure analysis, brake systems, air-conditioning systems and general shop skills. 

In this event, students compete individually.

Digital Cinema Production

This competition evaluates and recognizes outstanding students for excellene and professionlism with their filmmaking skills in the areas of development, pre-production, production and postproduction through the writing, producing, directing and editing of an up to five-minute short film based on the prompt given.

In this event, students compete as a team of 2.

Early Childhood Education

Competitors demonstrate their knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice and their ability to prepare and implement learning activities for children three to five years old. Competitors will prepare a written lesson plan. They will also demonstrate their understanding of the unique age-related learning characteristics of young children and the relevant social interactions as they implement the lesson.

In this event, students compete individually.

Electrical Construction Wiring

Working from drawings and specification sheets, competitors are required to install an electrical system common in most residential and light commercial projects. They may also have to perform a practical conduit bending exercise, hands-on installation of a conduit system, cabling sysem and wiring devices. Judging is based on general workmanship, accuracy of layout and installation, and adherence to the current National Electric Code (NEC) and standard industry safe practices.

In this event, students compete individually.

Electronics Technology

This competition is divided into sections: customer service exam, written exam, soldering, breadboarding, and troubleshooting. Competitors 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 competitors' abilities to use and calibrate electronic equipment, record and organize data, and demonstrate proper safety practices.

In this event, students compete ind