Skilled and Technical Contests 

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.   

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 and 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 ablility 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.

Automotive Refinishing Technology - Contestants 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 outlined by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Workstations consist of on-vehicle, stimulations, 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 sections including the written test.

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 their 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 technique. 

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.  

Carpentry - Contestants will frame walls using wood and steel studs, cut and install common, hip and jack rafters, install drywall and baseboard moldings and window trim.  Contestants will be judged on accuracy, ability to read and interpret blueprints, workmanship and the proper use of tools and equipment.

Collision Repair Technology - The competition includes a series of workstations, a manually written estimate and an interview process designed to assess skills in metalwork, welding, plastic repair, structural analysis and estimating and an ASE written exam.  The overall appearance of the finished product, speed and proper safety practices will be judged.

Computer Maintenance Technology - The CMT contest requires contestants to identify and repair computer hardware malfunctions, solve configuration problems, and install common components.  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.

Computer Programming - The 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 three or four projects. Each project's specifications are written for Visual Basic, Java, 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 (which ever the student prefers) and transferred to a main station to be printed, both code and screen.

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 recreate 2 women's' and 1 men's' haircut 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.

Diesel Equipment Technology - Contestants cycle through fourteen stations testing basic engines, troubleshooting engines, electrical-electronics, chassis, transmissions, carriers, hydraulic systems, vehicle inspection, fundamental failure analysis, brake systems, air-conditioning, general shop skills, job interview skills, and a written test.

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.

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, adaptabilty and manageability of an internetworking system.

Marine Service Technology - The Marine Service Technology contest includes 4 skill stations and a written 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 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.

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.

Photography - Contestants will 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 and posing, process and print digital photos and submit two 11x14 or 16x20 mounted and 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.

Preschool Teaching Assistant - Contestants will demonstrate their ability to prepare and implement learning activities for children 3 to 5 years old.  Contestants are required to write a lesson plan.  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.  Contestants will read a preschool book.  They will take a written test of their knowledge of child development and effective teaching strategies.

Residential Wiring - Contestants are required to complete a written test, a practical conduit bending exercise and a hands-on installation and wiring exercise.  Working from drawings and specifications sheets, contestants are required to install residential wiring and electrical devices.  Judging is on the basis of general workmanship, accuracy of layout and installation, and adherence to the current national Electrical Code and standard industry safe practices.

Robotics and Automation Technology - Challenges two-person teams to demonstrate operation of an Intelitek ER-4U, 5-axis servo-robot along with a set of sensors and motorized devices to resolve a simulated production process problem.  They demonstrate and set-up a robotic workcell from a word problem task.  Contestants are required to create a flow chart and sequence of operation.  Teams are judged on efficiency, speed and teamwork.

Technical Computer Applications - Contestants will be expected to demonstrate installation, configuration and use of DOS, Windows 95/98/ME/XP/2000 Professional Operating Systems and one or more integrated office suite packages including e-mail, word processing, spreadsheet applications, database applications, web page development, money management applications, presentations applications, internet browser applications, etc.  Microsoft Office and other integrated office suites could be used.  The contest will include an oral presentation demonstrating the students' ability to communicate with others, the hands-on skills demonstration, and up to one hour will be allowed for a written examination.  

Television (Video) Production - Teams of two contestants are required to shoot a one-minute VHS video 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 - Evaluates each contestant's preparation for employment and to recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the field of Web design.

Information gathered from http://www.skillsusa.org/