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 Export to Your Calendar 4/21/2024 to 4/24/2024
When: Sunday, April 21, 2024
Where: Hilton Arlington
United States
Contact: Trish Milburn
[email protected]
240-43-4615 ext. 19

NSPS 23rd Annual Student Competition

Held by NSPS in conjunction with The NSPS Young Surveyors Network

April 21 – April 24, 2024

Arlington, VA

A room block has been set up at the Comfort Inn Arlington at Ballston - Please click here to book your room(s)

Rate is $189.00

Competition Announcement - We are at Max capacity (24 Teams). 

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. If you wish to get on the wait list email [email protected].


Frequently Asked Questions

What type of Levels will be used: Dumpy levels

What type of Rods will be used:  Typical Philly type level rods

What type of Tripod will be used: Fixed Leg

Will we receive Metro Fare cards: Yes, a 3-day pass

Will lunch be provided: Yes, Lunch provided during the measurement exercises on the Mall.  Monument Hunt day is on your own.  


The 2024 NSPS Student Competition will be held in conjunction with the spring meeting of the National Society of Professional Surveyors. There will be no work required to be performed outside of the competition although preparations and training may be deemed necessary by the individual faculty.

There will be three separate divisions with a Maximum capacity of 24 teams. Additional teams will be placed on a wait list and notified if additional opportunities become available. One for students in Associates degree programs, one for students in Baccalaureate degree programs, and one for nontraditional combinations of students sponsored by a Professional Surveying Association. All members of the team must be an active student, the status of a student’s eligibility will be their status on January 1, 2024. Any team made up of students from the same school in both Associates and Baccalaureate degree programs must compete in the Baccalaureate degree division. Graduate students may not be part of a team. Teams are required to have a professor or University/College/High School approved Chaperon present for the competition. Teams in the nontraditional category are required to have a member of the association as their Chaperon. Teams are to be made up of 6 participants or less.


The field exercises will be performed on April 22-23.  A social event will be held on one of the competition evenings, location TBD. The awards will be held at lunch on April 24th.

Contingency plan for weather

A separate competition will take place in the event of bad weather. Details for that plan will be released later.


A team must submit a Final Registration Form to the NSPS Office by email ([email protected]) or fax to 240-439-4952, no later than January 30, 2024. There will be no registration fee.


Please direct any questions VIA EMAIL to the 2024 Competition Chair and a CC the NSPS Office Manager as shown below.


Competition Chair

Denver Winchester, PLS - Delegate - Email: [email protected]

Trish Milburn, NSPS Office Manager - Email:[email protected]

 2024 Student Competition – The people are what make us

NSPS has held many competitions over the years testing everything from students’ ability to perform complex field surveying tasks to their knowledge of emerging technologies. Many of them suited for furthering the knowledge of advanced concepts and preparing them for their roles in the workforce. Building on the success of the last two year’s competitions, the YSN wanted to keep largely the same competition and make improvements based on the feedback from the students and professors. To further inspire networking and intermingling between the current professionals and the soon to be professionals this competition is designed to both test the students and bolster the future relationships of the Society. The competition will be split into two parts, a social exercise and a technical field exercise.

Day 1: Monument Hunt

The first portion of the competition will be a staged scavenger hunt type event. The basics of which are listed below.


  • A list of DC area monuments are assigned a point value and provided the day before the event.
  • The ones farther away or more logistically challenging are assigned higher values due to the risk of finding less.
  • Monuments will be older and have significance to the history of surveying in the area.


  • Teams will be released from the Hotel in 30 minute increments and have 6 hours to compete.
  • Teams must always stay together. Teams will be provided with metro cards. No other mode of transportation will be allowed (No bikes, scooters, etc). Disability accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Teams will be accompanied by a member of the YSN or if unavailable a member of NSPS.


  • Teams will accumulate points based on the point values of the monuments visited.
  • Proof will be given in the form of a photo with timestamp or group photos at the location.
  • Extra points will be provided for social media posts with those photos using #NSPS and #YSN.

Day 2: Measurement Exercises

The second portion of the competition will be the evaluation of students’ technical ability while requiring some knowledge of historical concepts. This will be a three part exercise. Transportation and equipment to be provided. The basics of the three separate portions are described below. Extra points in this portion will be available to any team who would like to perform these tasks in period dress.


  • Students will be asked to perform a timed level loop with a 4-post level with stiff legs.
  • Performance will be graded on the following criteria:
    • Closure and accuracy of side shots
    • Speed
    • Field Note Organization


  • Students will be asked to perform a 4-sided traverse with a chain and compass.
  • Performance will be graded on the following criteria:
    • Closure
    • Accuracy of leg distances
    • Accuracy of internal angles


  • Students will be asked to complete a triangulate exercise of an unknown position from 2 to 3 known positions with a theodolite.
    • Performance will be graded based solely on the accuracy of a missing variable.
    • This could be either coordinates of the resultant position, distance to known positions, or internal angles.


Past Winners

10th Annual Competition (2011)

11th Annual Competition (2012)

12th Annual Competition (2013)

13th Annual Competition (2014)

14th Annual Competition (2015)

15th Annual Competition(2016)

16th Annual Competition (2017)

17th Annual Competition (2018)

18th Annual Competition (2019)

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