STEM Units


Students will have the opportunity for hands-on experience developing solutions with a robot. These will include programming, engineering design, robotics, engineering process, wireless communication, and further STEM concepts.

Audio - Video Engineering and Editing

Students explore acoustic waves and the science of sound and music. Students record audio and edit audio on a computer. Major equipment and software include tuning forks, audio meters, microphones, and audio editing software.

Digital Photography

Students explore the basics of digital photography and the optical principles that make it possible. Students take, download, and edit digital pictures. Digital cameras, tripods, and photo–editing software are among the major equipment included in this unit. Related TSA Event: Digital Photography Challenge

Digital Video

Students explore the basics of video production and related optical principles. Students storyboard, capture, download, and edit digital videos. Major equipment with unit includes digital video cameras, tripods, and video editing software. Related TSA Event: Video Challenge


Students explore programming, electromechanical systems, and aerodynamics in the UGVs and UAVs Drones Lab.  UGV’s -build and configure rugged rovers to navigate challenging outdoor terrain, avoid obstacles and perform complex tasks manually and autonomously.  UAV’s- design build and program drones for aerial search and rescue, GPS crop dusting, autonomous deliveries to remote locations and other compelling industry-related tasks.

Electricity and Magnetism

Students explore and apply basic scientific principles related to electricity and electrical current. Students use magnets to generate an electric current, build simple electric circuits, and build series and parallel circuits. Students use a multimeter to measure current, resistance, and voltage. Equipment includes multimeters, wire cutters, and electrical components such as switches, resistors, breadboards, lamps, and LEDs. Related TSA Event: Electrical Applications

Fuel Cell Technology

Students explore fuel cells and the science behind them. Students design, build and test fuel cell vehicles. Major equipment includes fuel cells, fuel cell vehicles, and vehicle kits.

Leadership Skills

Students explore presentation, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Students practice parliamentary procedures, public speaking, presentation creation, and group problem-solving. Students film and critique their presentations and their classmates’ presentations (optional camera sold separately). Major equipment and materials with this unit include an easel board, parliamentary procedure reference guides, and video tutorials. Related TSA Events: Prepared Presentation, Chapter Team, Challenging Technology Issues, Leadership Challenge

Marine Design

Students explore forces, density, buoyancy, and marine craft design. Students construct marine crafts to meet various criteria. Students also design, build, and race a model sailboat. Major equipment includes a marine test tank built to TSA specifications, density test kits, and boat construction materials. Related TSA Event: Marine Design


Students learn how to measure length, volume, and mass accurately. They are also taught the difference between mass and weight. Students calculate density. Students use rulers, graduated cylinders, beakers, and digital scales to obtain measurement data. They record, organize and analyze data. They reach conclusions about their results and explain discrepancies. Equipment and materials include rulers, measuring tapes, graduated cylinders, beakers, and digital scales.

Mechanical Design

Students learn the basics of engineering design. Students learn to create hand designs and digital designs.

Mouse Trap Vehicles

Students explore simple machines and Newton’s Laws of Motion. Students design, build, and test mousetrap vehicles with various design specifications. Students then design and build a mousetrap vehicle to meet specific goals and criteria. Equipment includes tubing cutters, spring scales, simple machine demonstrators, and materials to build mouse trap vehicles.


Students explore multimedia authoring techniques and strategies. Students explore various media types and how they can be combined for optimum impact. Major equipment includes computer microphones and sound editing software. Related TSA Event: TSA Multimedia.


Students explore electromagnetic waves and their wave functions. Students explore how electromagnetic wave characteristics affect the light waves’ color. Students also explore the concepts of color addition and subtraction and the effect of reflection and refraction on light waves. Major equipment includes light meters, prisms, mirrors, lenses, and lasers.

Planes and Gliders

Students explore forces related to flight and the Bernoulli Principle. Students design, build, and test airfoils, gliders, and rubber-band-powered airplanes. Equipment and materials include an airfoil tester, a glider catapult, materials for airfoils, materials for gliders, and materials for rubber-band airplanes. Related TSA Event: Flight Challenge


Students explore polymer science. Students test the properties of polymers and create a polymer. Students explore the process of injection molding. Students use injection molding to create golf tees and key chains. Students explore the process of vacuum forming. Students vacuum-form plastic sheets into various designs. Major equipment includes vacuum former, injection molder, and molds.

Problem Solving

Students explore formal problem-solving strategies such as the D.E.A.L. method. Students apply formal and informal problem-solving strategies to a variety of STEM challenges. Students practice applying team and individual problem-solving strategies. Materials and equipment required to complete the challenges are included in the unit. Related TSA Events: Problem Solving and Leadership Challenge

Projectiles and Straw Rockets

Students explore projectile motion, forces related to flight, and Newton’s Laws of Motion. Students design, construct and test straw rockets to determine how launch angle and force affect the rocket’s path. After testing the effects of various factors on the straw rocket’s flight, students design and launch a straw rocket design to hit a specific target.


Students explore the lab and shop safety, including OSHA rules.

Solar Energy

Students explore solar engineering concepts. Students design, build and test solar generators and cookers. Major equipment includes light meters, thermometers, multimeters, solar panels, and solar cooker kit materials.

Solar Vehicles

Students explore solar energy, solar cells, motors, and gears. Students test solar cells to determine the amount of voltage and current produced by solar cells in different levels of light and different angles of the solar panel to the light source. Students also test the effects of motor types and gear ratios on a vehicle. Students use what they learn to design, build, and test solar vehicles to meet specific criteria. Equipment includes light meters, multimeters, solar panels, gears, and other materials required for building solar vehicles.

Structural Engineering

Students study static forces, types of structures, and material strength. Students research various types of bridges, dams, and towers. Students build and test basic structural shapes with various materials. Students use the results of their tests and research to design and build a structure to meet specific requirements. Related TSA Events: Structural Challenge.

Technological Research and Reporting

Students use the Internet to research technological advances and issues in such areas as agriculture, biotechnology, the environment, and medicine. Students learn to create a report using a word processor, create a display board, create a PowerPoint presentation of the report, and present an oral report. Students learn rules for sourcing and crediting information. Equipment and materials with this unit include materials needed for creating and enhancing display board presentations. Related TSA Events: Agriculture & Biotechnology, Challenging Technology Issues, Environmental Challenge, Medical Technology Challenge

Water Bottle Rockets

Students explore Newton’s Laws of Motion, forces, ballast, momentum, and propulsion. Students design and build water bottle rockets. Students test the effects of ballast, fin design, and percentage of water to air mixture on the maximum height of a water bottle rocket. Equipment and materials include a water bottle launcher, air pump with pressure gauge, altimeter, and materials for building water bottle rockets.

Webpage Design

Students explore design and marketing principles related to web design. Students design and construct pages. Students add various forms of media and interactivity to their web pages. A class set of web design software is included with this unit. Related TSA Event: Cyberspace pursuit

Wind Energy

Students explore wind energy and power distribution. Students design, build, and test wind turbines. Major equipment includes wind generator kits, fans, anemometers, and multimeters.