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The Tech Challenge

A signature program of The Tech Museum of Innovation, The Tech Challenge is an annual team design challenge for students in grades 5-12 that introduces and reinforces the science and engineering design process with a hands-on project geared to solving a real-world problem.

Designed to inspire the next generation of Silicon Valley innovators, The Tech Challenge provides months of team learning in science, engineering, and math, culminating in the Event Days on Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13, 2014. Team efforts are celebrated in an awards ceremony, recognizing everything from Best Overall Solution to Sportsmanship.

The Tech Challenge aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core.  It reinforces 21st century skills of creativity, problem solving, design, teamwork, leadership, presentation, risk-taking, perseverance, and learning from failure. This program makes a great experience for classrooms, home schools, after-school programs, extra-credit projects, clubs, or friends!

  • Open to students in grades 5-12.
  • 3 grade levels: Elementary: 5-6; Middle School: 7-8; High School: 9-12.
  • Participants collaborate in teams of 2 to 6 people.
  • Registration fees are only $50 for the entire team.
  • Fees waived for Title I schools/after-school programs.
  • Solutions can be created with common, low-cost materials.
  • There are no pre-qualifying conditions to enter.
  • Special needs students are encouraged.


2014: Harnessing the Wind

Wind has allowed humans to travel the globe, revolutionize agriculture and produce electricity. Wind inspires the imagination because it has the potential to be a mighty ally or a destructive foe.  Do you have what it takes to harness the power of wind?

Support Throughout the Design Process

The Tech Museum of Innovation provides Information Clinics, Team Workshops, Advisor Trainings, Judge Trainings, and Test Trials leading up to the Event Days to help create positive experiences for advisors, parents, judges, and team members alike.

Saturday, April 12 - Grades 5 & 6 and 9-12 Divisions
Sunday, April 13 - Grades 7 & 8 Division.
Learn more about The Tech Challenge events


The design of the device must be compatible with the design rules defined in the Rules section. It is useful for the design teams to keep in mind that if the design rules do not specifically prohibit a particular approach, then that approach is acceptable. 
Learn more about the rules

Test Rig

Details about the 2014 test rig will be posted in late October.  Details and illustrations of the rig will available found in the Test Rig section.
Learn more about the Test Rig

Judging Process

The Tech Challenge judges evaluate your team's project as a whole, including your device's performance, your engineering process and journal, and your style and presentation. They also award points for teamwork, perseverance, and other categories.
Learn more about the judging process


Teams compete for awards in 3 grade divisions: Elementary: grades 5-6; Middle School: grades 7-8; and High School: grades 9-12. Judges award prizes recognizing everything from Most Innovative Design to Sportsmanship.
Learn more about past award winners