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The Tech Challenge 2013 Executive Summary

Out-of-this-world challenge inspires creativity in young innovators
Press Release Date 
Friday, June 27, 2014

SAN JOSE, CA – Asteroids Rock! The Tech Challenge 2013 presented by Cisco saw students from all over the Bay Area and beyond catapult to success. A signature program of The Tech Museum of Innovation, The Tech Challenge provides months of activity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for students in grades 5-12. The program also reinforces 21st-century skills including creativity, problem solving, design thinking, teamwork, leadership, public speaking, risk taking, perseverance, and the ability to learn from failure.
The 2013 challenge asked students to safely deploy sensitive scientific instruments – represented by raw eggs – to three different terrains on an asteroid. In addition to showing off their inventions, participants presented their journals, which documented their design and engineering process, to a panel of judges. The months-long program culminated with the Event Days on April 20-21.
Since its inception, The Tech Challenge has inspired creativity and equipped students with hands-on experiences in engineering design and real-world problem solving. Thousands of students have put their imaginations to the test in the largest team design challenge in the Bay Area. Previous challenges have seen young innovators build devices to explore Mars craters, fight wildfires, rescue earthquake victims, and collect samples in the rainforest.

Team Numbers 2013 2012
Registered Teams 446 347
Registered Team Members 1916 1483
Title 1 Teams 2013 2012
Number of Title 1 teams 160 129
Number of Title 1 participants 688 549
Gender 2013 2012
Number of females 805 712
Females % 42% 48%

From The Tech Museum President Tim Ritchie:
●     “Problem solving is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a bright future for yourselves,” The Tech President Tim Ritchie told throngs of students during the awards ceremony. “Whatever you do, you must be able to add value.”
From 2013 Tech Challenge participants:
●     “The Tech Challenge opened my mind to the different opportunities and how fun science can be. This also helped me to learn how to more easily collaborate with other members.”
●     “From this year’s Tech Challenge I learned how to learn from others and take disasters as opportunities. I also learned how to take in other ideas and use them in an efficient way.”
●     “I learned that it is hard to do some things, but when you stick to it you can get it done no matter what happens. It helps me be open to ideas of all sorts and to just have fun.”
2013 participants came from:
Albany, American Canyon, Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, Campbell, Capitola, Castro Valley, Castroville, Corte Madera, Cupertino, East Palo Alto, El Granada, Fairfax, Fremont, Fresno, Gilroy, Greenfield, Hayward, Hillsborough, King City, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Marina, Menlo Park, Milpitas, Monterey, Morgan Hill, Moss Beach, Mountain View, Oakland, Palo Alto, Pebble Beach, Pleasanton, Prunedale, Redwood City, Salida, Salinas, San Diego, San Carlos, San Francisco, San Jose, San Lorenzo, San Mateo, San Pablo, San Ramon, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Saratoga, Seaside, Sunnyvale, Tuolumne
For more information on The Tech Challenge, visit:
The Tech Challenge 2013 sponsors
Cisco Systems, Inc.
JPMorgan Chase
Motorola Solutions Foundation
Charmaine and Daniel Warmenhoven
Bank of America
Fairchild Semiconductor
Lockheed Martin
TE Connectivity
Wells Fargo
Michelle Tran
Public Relations Specialist
About The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum—located in the Capital of Silicon Valley —is a non-profit, experiential learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team-design competition for youth, and internationally renowned program to honor technology benefiting humanity, The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, The Tech endeavors to inspire the innovator in everyone.