From San Jose and San Diego and New York they will come. The "Super Mario Sisters." The "Men in Magna" and "We're Bringin' Sexy Chem." Though the teams hail from all corners of the Bay Area - and as far away as the East Coast - they are all of singular purpose: to emerge victorious in this, The Tech Challenge 2009.
Nearly 250 squads - including the Flying Penguins from Keeseville, N.Y., and Team Hot Lava Rocks and Team Explosion from the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego - will vie for top honors Saturday in this year's challenge, Explore the Volcano! Teams - some donning excessively ornate costumes - must design a delivery device to transport sensor packages to the heart of a volcano.
"The students have shown fascinating ingenuity in their search for solutions to this year's challenge," said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum. "As part of our mission, we are committed to inspiring the innovator in everyone. With The Tech Challenge, where we're seeing more and more students and creative thinkers, the result of staying true to the mission is clear."
More than 1,000 students, armed with devices ranging from rockets to slings to fishing poles, will participate. Combined with family, team mentors and spectators, nearly 4,000 people are expected to cheer on the champions throughout the day as they contend for "Best Overall Solution," "Best Team Name" and the only-at-The-Tech-Museum's "Most Spectacular Failure."
The signature science and technology program challenges students from grades 5-12 to create a solution to a real-world problem. For more than 20 years, The Tech Challenge has allowed some 12,000 youth from elementary, middle and high schools throughout Northern California and other regions to hone their creativity and innovation on challenges that included building devices to fight wildfires, remove invasive fish from a lake, explore an Egyptian tomb and to survey craters on Mars.
"For anyone who believes that kids don't think math and science are fun, you need only experience The Tech Challenge to know that's a myth," said Bill Fisher, program director. "These kids learn about teamwork, problem-solving and presentation skills - all while having a great time."
The 22nd Annual Tech Challenge
The Tech Museum, 201 S. Market St., San Jose
Saturday, April 25. Best Photo ops: 9-11:30 a.m., 12:45-2:45 p.m., 3:45-5 p.m.
Lead sponsors of The Tech Challenge are Cadence Design Systems and Brocade. Other corporate sponsors include Intel, SAP, Yahoo!, American Honda Foundation, S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, The Tech Museum's Emeritus Board, David H. Liu Foundation, Amgen, Symantec, SanDisk, AMD, IBM, Hitachi Data Systems, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, ScholarShare, Xilinx Inc., and SDForum TechWomen' Program.
For more information about The Tech Challenge, visit: www.techchallenge.thetech.org
About The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Tech Museum - located in the Capital of Silicon Valley - is a non-profit educational resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through educational programs, the annual Tech Challenge team competition for youth, and the internationally recognized Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc. The Tech Museum of Innovation celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. For more information about The Tech Museum of Innovation, visit www.thetech.org.
Contact: Roqua Montez
Senior Manager Public Relations