Important Updates

State Conference Update - April 11, 2023

Hi everyone. I’ve got a few notes and reminders for you before you depart for Seven Springs:

1. State Conference Registration – Registration checks should be mailed and received by PA-TSA, prior to the start of the state conference. You will not be able to pick up any registration materials until you are paid in full. Payment for the hotel must also be received by Seven Springs by the time you arrive. Please review our no-show policy that will go into effect should there be cancellations.

2. Event Registration – please check all event registration carefully prior to arrival onsite. Adding a student or team to an event on-site will NOT be possible as materials, timing, judges and other logistics are based on pre-registered numbers. If you notice a problem with your event registration now, please contact me immediately.

3. Event Updates

  • Early Submissions are being collected as speak. The window for early submissions will close at 11:59PM on Wednesday, April 12. Please check early to make sure you have access to all the codes necessary for students to upload their projects (available in iServices). Check the event rules for specifics as to what components should be uploaded prior to the conference.
  • SUBMISSION PORTAL CODES: It has come to our attention that there is some confusion regarding the codes available for some events in iServices. There are three possible reasons the codes exist:
    • The event has an early submission component that must be uploaded to the submission portal April 5-12. See the event matrix to confirm which events require early submission.
    • The event requires a submission during the conference (i.e. MS Technical Design, HS – On Demand).
    • The event has a component that requires participants to sign up for a time (i.e. semifinalist interviews, demonstrations). Online sign ups will take place via the submission portal as well.
  • Please make sure all projects have student and/or team ID#’s on all parts of all projects before arriving at event check in. ID#’s can be obtained from iServices at any time. No stickers will be available on-site. Unless specifically noted otherwise in the event rules, names of students or schools on projects will result in a rules violation.
  • READ document and Updates/Clarifications – Please make sure you are taking the time to read the information found in the READ documents and the information found in the Updates/Clarifications section of the National TSA website. All rule changes are noted here and will be utilized at the State Conference.
  • Test Sessions – for all events that have a testing component, test sessions will once again be held on Wednesday and Thursday morning.
    • All testing will be done electronically. As testing is electronic, participants will NOT need to bring #2 pencils. 
    • Testing will be open from 5-9PM on Wednesday night and 9:30-11:30AM on Thursday. No make-up tests will be permitted.
    • Participants must be in Dress Code C or better for the test portion of an event.
    • For team events, all members of the team must take the test at the same time.

4. Feedback form – Please remind students that we will be using the event feedback form again this year as a way for judges to potentially provide students with feedback on their projects.

5. Lodging - Please note that we will once again be utilizing various lodgings at Seven Springs. So as to avoid unloading in the wrong location, please send one representative into the front desk when you arrive to learn your location prior to unloading buses. Alternatively, you can call Seven Springs to learn this information. If you are to call Seven Springs, please understand that changes to room assignments will not be possible at this late date.

6.  Semifinalist Postings – We will no longer be using the boards near the stairwell outside the Grand Ballroom to post semifinalists or sign-up for interview presentation times. Instead, semifinalists will be posted online as soon as they are available. A link will be added to our main page when the conference starts. Semifinalists will sign up for their times using the submission portal and access codes from iServices. Should a student lack connectivity or need assistance signing up for a time, kiosk stations will be set up in Stag Pass for this purpose.

7. General Session Seating – As a result of changes in membership, all general sessions (including the awards ceremony) at this year’s State Conference will allow for first-come, first-serve seating. Schools will not be expected to sit by region, nor will reserve seating be permitted.

8. Conference Program –The conference program is available in a digital format. Hard copies of the program will be available in limited quantities for this year’s conference, approximately 10/chapter.

  • Corrections to the program:
    • System Control Technology MS & HS will be held in Timberstone, not the Ski Lodge.
    • The Minecraft special interest session will be held from 10-11AM on Friday.
    • The Finding Your College: 10 Questions to Help You Think Deeply and Act Boldly special interest session will be held from 2-3PM on Friday.
  • Special Interest Sessions: These interesting and informative sessions are a valuable way to spend your free time during the conference. A full schedule and description of the sessions being offered this year is available in the conference program.

9. While our judging needs are nowhere near as dire as they were a few weeks ago, there are always last-minute adjustments necessary due to circumstances beyond our control. If you or someone traveling with your group is willing to help out with a judging responsibility, please stop by the Wintergreen Room. PA-TSA is the fantastic organization it is because of the volunteers.

10. Limited time slots – Due to low participation in a select number of events, the number of semifinalist time slots will be reduced. Instead of 3-6PM as previously published, some events will offer a shortened semifinalist window so as to maximize judge availability.


11. Wednesday night check-in – Advisors, we need your help to check-in events on Wednesday night. This DOES NOT commit you to judging the event as all you will be doing is making sure the students drop off projects in the location where they are registered. If you are able/willing to help, please come to Winterberry for the high school drop-off session from 5-6:30PM and/or the middle school drop-off session from 6:30-8PM.


12. Housekeeping @ Seven Springs – Service will be available as requested during the conference but will not be regularly scheduled for rooms. Please call the front desk should you need towels, toiletries, trash removal, or other services.


13. Please be advised that Seven Springs has gone cashless, meaning all monetary transactions will need to be in an electronic format. Students should plan ahead to travel with credit, debit, or gift cards to be used in place of cash for any purchase at Seven Springs. Cash will still be accepted at the turnpike rest stops on the trips to and from Seven Springs. The TSA state officers will also be offering small opportunities to participate in service projects and fundraisers that will be cash-based.

Please contact me with any questions/concerns regarding the State Conference or competitive events. Looking forward to another great conference – see you soon!


Lauren Lapinski

State Conference Director

llapinski [at]<!--style="color:blue; text-decoration:underline"-->