Design Challenge

Design Challenge (updated: Jan 24, 2018)


This challenge involves student teams designing a technological solution that solves a problem based on a theme set each year for the challenge. Each technology solution should focus on a particular problem and provide a prototype that can solve the issue.

Teams will present their solution with a model that can be 3D printed or built using other materials. The model is only a representation of what the final product might look like and does not have to perform any function.

The solution must include evidence of research of the problem and the technology used in the solution, discuss why the team is passionate to solve the problem and how they will go about it. In previous years, some teams have also included banners, wore corporate dress and used multi-media to make an impact on the audience (although not necessary for the competition). The style of presentation is similar to pitching to a group of investors.

Getting Started:

If you have never pitched a new idea before, here’s how to get started in this challenge …

  1. Identify a simple problem in real life that could be solved using a robot or dedicated device.
  2. Research and clearly define all the details of the problem, looking for a particular parts of the problem that you could use some technology or have some idea on solving.
  3. Start exploring your ideas to solving the issues in the problem and work towards a complete solution that uses currently available technology (you do not need to buy this technology, but you should have researched it well to discuss how it might be used in your solution).
  4. Start putting together your designs for the solution, research and plan on how you might make this solution work into a presentation.
  5. Build a model of your final solution using 3D printing or some other means for demonstration at the presentation.

Note: the model does not need to function, it is just a representation of what is possible. Your presentation should include media (Powerpoint, video or similar) of your design process and final product. You are strongly encouraged to submit a research paper along with your presentation (although not mandatory).

Already Experienced:

If you already experienced at developing solutions and making presentation before, here’s how you can become more competitive in this competition …

  1. Research, research, research – add more research to both explore your problem in more depth, how technology might be used in your final solution. Then critically evaluate your solution, discussing its strengths and limitations, or perform a SWOT analysis.
  2. Build credibility by assessing how realistic your solution is, how well it meets the need of the problem and its feasibility in terms of cost, access to materials, target market purchasing power, etc.
  3. Build a model with more detail and components that could be easily deconstructed and explained to the audience either during or after the presentation.
  4. Prepare a detailed research paper on your research, design process and final specifications.