Contest Descriptions

To see a full list of contest descriptions, Click Here

*These descriptions are takes straight from the SkillsUSA official website.

Action Skills

This contest requires 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.

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.

 

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.

Broadcast News Production

Four-member teams have two hours to write and produce their rundown before the assigned contest time. Two students serve as the news anchor team, one student serves as the team’s director/technical director, and one student is the floor director. 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.

 

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 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 Display

SkillsUSA student members build a three-dimensional display that articulates a national annual theme established by SkillsUSA. The team of three students builds and sets up the display and all three students present information about the display during a presentation and interview with judges. The themes for this year's contest can be found here.

 

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.

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 cut, 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 are rated on organization, knife skills, cooking techniques, creative presentation, sanitation and 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.

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 and complete a written test.

Diesel Hydraulics

(State only competition)

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 is 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 one 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.

Employment Application Process

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

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.

 
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.

 
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.

Marine Service Technology

The contest includes individual skill stations and a written or online test. The hands-on test stations include many aspects of two-stroke and four-stroke 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.

 
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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

State 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.

 

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).

 

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.

 

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.

Welding Art/Sculpture

Contestants demonstrate their ability to design and produce a welded sculpture, and give a presentation regarding all aspects of their creation of the design. Previously welded sculptures are displayed for the national competition. A notebook is required displaying evidence of creating the original work. Each participant is interviewed regarding aspects of design and creation of the piece. There is no live welding on site.

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