The Tech Museum of Innovation believes every young person should have an opportunity to explore hands-on design. The Tech Challenge, one of The Tech Museum of Innovation's signature programs, is our way of "inspiring the innovator in everyone". To date, over 15,500 students have honed their creative problem solving and teamwork skills as part of this annual program. Participants' efforts are recognized and celebrated. Awards range from Best Overall Solution to Most Spectacular Failure.
The Tech Challenge is a team challenge designed to get at the heart of innovation, where young people can develop creative solutions to real-world challenges in familiar settings. Over the years, young people from elementary, middle and high school have built devices to move water, explore Mars craters, fight wildfires, and collect samples in the rainforest.
Open, accessible, and affordable for all kids in grades 4–12, The Tech Challenge provides young people with the real-life design challenges that inspire creativity and build teamwork skills. Participants compete in 3 categories: Elementary School, Middle School, and High School.
Each year, we announce a new design challenge inspired by a real world scenario. Students work as a team, at home, in the classroom, in a club, or in after-school programs to design and build an innovative solution. One adult supervisor is required per team.
The Challenge takes place over several months as participants form a team, design, build and test their project. Teams document every step of their process including testing, brainstorming, and most importantly what they learn through experimentation and failure. The Challenge culminates in an event weekend, when the teams present their project to the judges.
The Tech Museum of Innovation provides supporting resource tools to help make your team successful. The Challenge season kicks off in October with our Information Clinics, the first in a series of supporting events including Team Workshops, Advisor Trainings, and Test Trials for the teams. Learn more about all supporting events here.
Teams celebrate their progress as they demonstrate their solutions for the judges in front of their friends and family. Learn more about Event Days.
There are numerous awards to encourage, celebrate and recognize innovation. Some examples are: Best Overall Solution, Best Team Name, Most Spectacular Failure, Best Prototyping, Most Perseverance, Most Sustainable, Most Efficient Design.