Middle School TEAMS Competition

The TEAMS Experience
  • The TEAMS program is an annual STEM competition that helps students discover their potential for engineering.
  • Using math, science and 21st century learning skills, students work together to problem-solve real, everyday challenges.
  • The annual challenge theme is selected from the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges (www.engineeringchallenges.com).
  • The TEAMS competition helps to develop “STEM-capable” students in an engaging way by showing them how math and science, with an engineering focus, are used to make tangible differences in the world.

Competition Facts

The 2016 TEAMS theme is “Engineering the Tools of Innovation.” 

Schools and groups compete for one day during the course of the competition window, February 8 – March 20, 2016.   “Best in State” awards for the highest ranking teams in each state, including one for each level of participation are announced in May.

Working in a written competition format, groups of four to eight students at the middle school grade level compete during two sixty-minute parts: 

  • Part 1:  Forty multiple choice questions, requiring team members to apply math and science knowledge to novel situations. Part 1 scores determine competition day awards (provided at the discretion of the host institution) and division awards.
  • Part 2: Tasks to be answered in a short essay format, expanding students’ problem-solving skills as they explain their engineering solutions and a hands-on design challenge. All students complete Part 2 and responses are forwarded to the national TSA office.  One essay per team is randomly chosen and scored.
  • The combination of the Part 1 and Part 2 scores determine the “Best in State.”

The highest ranking state teams at each level in the country will be invited (at their own expense) to compete for top honors at the national level at the national TSA conference, June 28 – July 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Program Outcomes

  • Increases student knowledge about what engineers do and their impact on society.
  • Introduces students to new academic concepts through real-world applications.
  • Fosters creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving skills.
  • Increases student confidence about their ability to participate in engineering projects and to solve problems.
  • Removes social barriers and negative attitudes about engineering across all audiences including females, African Americans, and Latino(a)/Hispanic Americans.