Inspiration Award

The Inspiration Award recognizes chapters who build relationships with their communities. Through activities in their school districts, collaboration with other chapters, and service projects in their local and state communities, TSA chapters have an impact far beyond their day-to-day technology projects. This award celebrates these activities and encourages chapters to share the results.

Middle and high school chapters are invited to submit short essays describing their service and outreach activities. All chapters are encouraged to participate—no matter how large or small your service project is, we hope you’ll share it with the PA-TSA community as an example.

Regional award

  • Essays are submitted in advance of each regional conference (see rules and deadlines below). In some regions, entries will be judged by a special alumni committee.
  • One chapter in each region will be selected for the regional award and continue to the state level.

State award

  • Each regional winner will be interviewed by alumni by video conference before the state conference.
  • In addition, chapters may submit an optional multimedia component (video or slideshow) up to 2 minutes long. If possible, the winning chapter’s submission will be presented to all of PA-TSA during the state conference award ceremony.
  • Note: The multimedia component is subject to the general rules and regulations in the National TSA Competitive Events Guide, including those regarding copyrighted music.

Entry guidelines

Download the Inspiration Award Guidelines PDF, Updated September 29, 2009


Region 5: See the regional conference page for the deadline and submission instructions.

All other regions: Entries must be submitted to dzollman [at] at least two weeks before the start of your regional conference.


Inspiration Award Hall of Fame

The Inspiration Award has been offered at regional and state levels for the last three years. At the state conference, one chapter is chosen as the PA-TSA Inspiration Award winner. Past winners are listed below.

2018: Lower Merion High School

Lower Merion TSA members have accomplished a staggering level of outreach and mentoring for local elementary students. All on their own, these TSA members organize and lead an after-school robotics program, four week longs, three times a year, at their local elementary schools. In addition, this chapter plans, publicizes, coordinates, and staffs its local Jr. FIRST Lego League Expo. They also attend the school district’s Family STEM night, where they organize design and engineering activities for students and parents. Through these programs, elementary students become aware of the STEM opportunities in their future, and they learn the values of collaborative problem-solving and iterative design. These TSA members believe these are the skills that will revolutionize our future, helping humans live successfully on the earth, and they’re doing everything they can to build those skills in their community. To learn more about Lower Merion TSA’s projects, watch this video.

2017: Boyertown Senior High School

For many years, Boyertown Senior High has been deeply involved with its local community through its community service and fundraising activities. In 2016 and 2017, BASH members have printed, folded, and sold hundreds of T-shirts to raise awareness about cancer. With the help of the two junior high TSA chapters, they distributed these shirts throughout all of the schools in their district. Last year, this culminated in a school wide pink-out day, and this year, a yellow-out day and a yellow-out pep rally in the school gym. Over those last two years, they broke records by raising about $4,500 each year, for a two-year total of $8,853. While fundraising for their own chapter, BASH students also make a point to give back to their community in the process—for example, they run a concession stand and game booth at the school’s homecoming carnival in October; an annual spaghetti dinner and show where students cooked, cleaned, and served dinner; and a “designer bag bingo” event for 180 community members at a local fire hall, raising money for not only for TSA, but also for a local cancer nonprofit and for the fire hall itself.

BASH has built a reputation in their district through active community service. Chapter members helped with the school district’s Tech Fest, an event that exposed staff and administrators to Vex Robotics and Engineering Design. In 2017, they ran their second annual clothing drive in partnership with the two junior high TSA chapters, collecting over 1,200 pounds of clothing for families in need. Most recently (as of this entry), they also partnered with the Boyertown Community Park, the Borough of Boyertown, and the Boyertown Rotary Club to fund, design, and build a bridge for the local Disc Golf Course, which frequently floods. BASH members have used their skills, from workshop and construction skills to design and public speaking, to make contributions that will impact their community for years to come.

2016: Boiling Springs High School

Students at Boiling Springs have organized some remarkable public service projects. When a local elementary school was renovated, TSA members helped to dismantle unused lockers. They transported and reassembled the lockers at a local medical center and a homeless shelter where the residents could use them for storage. Theft is common at homeless shelters, but the lockers are now helping to protect residents’ belongings. The chapter also held a district-wide e-waste recycling drive that collected dozens of computers, televisions, and other electronics. After calling around to local recycling centers, they found a facility an hour away that could accept the large volume of electronics. The chapter members are also sharing their knowledge with others. At the local arts & crafts festival, they demonstrated woodworking, sublimation printing, and blacksmithing techniques. In their school, they taught special needs students about weather and earth science, a program they hope to expand to elementary schools next year. Boiling Springs TSA members show great leadership and passion in organizing projects that impact those around them.

2015: Welsh Valley Middle School

TSA members at Welsh Valley are highly active in their community. This year, the chapter hosted a Community Day Carnival for their school. About a thousand students and teachers attended the event, raising over $2,500 for ACS and Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The TSA members also practiced their design and engineering skills by building their own carnival games, which helped them prepare for TSA projects. Later in the fall, the TSA chapter visited a local home for senior citizens, where the students built ergonomically designed furniture for the residents. In December, the chapter participated in the global Hour of Code Day. TSA members went to math classes throughout the day and gave every single student in their school a 45-minute lesson in computer programming. Members of this TSA chapter also make a special effort to help each other learn by pairing experienced students together with inexperienced students to work together on each TSA event. Welsh Valley students speak passionately about these initiatives and make them a high priority for their TSA chapter.

2014: Jersey Shore High School

Jersey Shore TSA students have made a wide range of contributions to their school district, local community, and the TSA community. At the beginning of the school year, four of the chapter’s officers attended a blood drive training seminar, and the TSA chapter then hosted several blood drives throughout the school year. Chapter members have also worked together to conduct service projects for local schools, churches, and after-school children’s groups. Jersey Shore TSA has also strengthened PA-TSA. The members have spoken to local businesses, clubs, lodges, and the school board, promoting TSA by sharing their experiences. Jersey Shore has served chapters across Region 7 by helping with the Region 7 conference each year. Additionally, Jersey Shore assisted a local middle school in starting a TSA chapter and helped the new TSA members prepare for their first competition. Through all of these projects, Jersey Shore TSA members have built strong teamwork and leadership skills that will continue to benefit their community in the future.

2013: Western Wayne High School

TSA members at Western Wayne have built relationships with community members of all ages. Over a school break, the chapter planned a visit to a local nursing home before the holidays and sang carols for the residents. The chapter also visited a local elementary school and ran a series of activities for the young students, including robotics, flight endurance, and structural engineering. While the elementary students learned about each topic, these fun activities generated enthusiasm for technology and engineering among the next generation of potential TSA members.


2012: Boiling Springs High School

TSA members at Boiling Springs High School led an impressive range of activities in their local area and school district, not only benefiting other students but also improving the environment for the local community as a whole. Of their many activities, the highlights were:

  • Members participated in a tree-planting event to help replenish the ecosystem at a nearby park. The region had experienced storms and floods that left pools of stagnant water, with nothing but grasses growing in those ponds. By planting trees and shrubs, students helped restore the ecosystem after the floods.
  • The chapter supported other clubs at their school: They designed and screen-printed t-shirts for the SADD club, and they built wooden signs for the gymnastics team. The members used these activities as opportunities to teach each other about screen printing and woodworking.
  • At the end of each school year, the Boiling Springs chapter hosts an “Open Lab Night” for parents and faculty, sharing projects from the state conference and publicizing TSA. The members also give a presentation to the school board, demonstrating TSA’s importance in the school.

2011: State College Area High School

Over several years, TSA members at State College Area High School built a comprehensive web-based system that chapters could use to organize themselves. When the chapter’s advisors and officers had difficulty keeping track of the chapter’s 50 members and each member’s events, a group of members saw the opportunity for a technical solution: They built a system that allowed the chapter to keep track of members, manage event information, communicate internally, share a calendar, and much more. They didn’t stop there—they built the system to support multiple chapters and made the system available to other chapters in their area. The project gave members opportunities to learn and teach each other web design and programming, and by sharing the software, they made life easier for many students and advisors at other schools.


If you have questions about the Inspiration Award, please contact Dan Zollman, award coordinator, at dzollman [at]

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