Press Release:

Students learn engineering, teamwork and innovation at The Tech Challenge 2018: Drop & Dash

Some 2,000 students participated in the 31st annual youth engineering design program at The Tech Museum of Innovation centered on solving a real-world problem.

SAN JOSE, May 2, 2018 —  Thousands of students from across Northern California and beyond participated in the 31st annual Tech Challenge, presented by Dell this weekend. Some 2,000 students worked in teams for months designing and building a device they put to the test in front of cheering crowds at The Tech Museum of Innovation.

“The Tech Challenge is The Tech’s best program for helping young people discover the power of their ideas, the necessity of persistence and the strength of teamwork,” said Tim Ritchie, president and CEO of The Tech. “The lessons the participants learn through The Tech Challenge will have a positive impact on nearly everything they undertake in years to come.”

The Tech Challenge, a signature program of The Tech, invites teams of students in Grades 4–12 to use engineering design to solve a real-world problem. It reinforces 21st century skills including creativity, problem solving, design, teamwork, leadership, risk-taking, perseverance and learning from failure. This year’s challenge asked teams to build a device that falls 10 feet, then travels uphill to deliver a payload, all without the use of batteries. Students traveled from as far away as Chicago to participate in the event.

“The Tech Challenge taught me how to solve real-world problems with engineering,” said Katie Venator, a student from Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara. She competed on a team with three of her classmates who had all spent the past four months working on their solution. “I’m very proud of how my team did.”

The Tech Challenge is designed to attract a diverse group of participants. Over 40% of teams come from Title I schools, a 96% increase in the past four years and nearly half of the participants are girls. Participation from low-income communities and equal gender representation are rarities in traditional engineering and science competitions.

“Dell is honored to support The Tech Challenge given its focus on innovation and talent development,” said Peter Donnelly, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Planning and Operations at Dell.  “Every year, I’m blown away by the effort, creativity and perseverance demonstrated by all the Tech Challenge teams.”

Dell is the presenting sponsor of The Tech Challenge through 2020. Over the last year, Dell has donated over $14 million to STEM programs globally, offering education and mentorship to underserved young people.

The Tech Challenge would not be possible without the enduring support of hundreds of educators. This year’s Bob Grimm Award for an Extraordinary Educator was given to Elizabeth Woodward from International Community School in Oakland, and George Kwong from Schafer Park Elementary School in Hayward. The award is named after a long-time Tech Challenge champion. Grimm was a stalwart supporter of providing STEM education resources to all.

Key sponsors supporting The Tech Challenge include presenting sponsor Dell, SAP, Arm, Bank of America, Cisco, Intel, Ford Motor Company, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Accenture, Adobe, Cadence, eBay, EY, Genentech, Gilead, Barbara and Bill Heil, Konica Minolta, Mayfield, ON Semiconductor, Samsung, Seagate, and Wells Fargo Bank

For more information visit The Tech Challenge website.

About Dell Technologies
Dell Technologies is a unique family of businesses that provides the essential infrastructure for organizations to build their digital future, transform IT and protect their most important asset, information. The company services customers of all sizes across 180 countries – ranging from 99 percent of the Fortune 500 to individual consumers – with the industry’s most comprehensive and innovative portfolio from the edge to the core to the cloud.

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“Outstanding Overall” award winners in each grade division:

Grades 4 and 5

Team #185
Team name: SMMARTT
School: The Harker School

Team #448
Team name: The Emoji Girls

Team #328
Team name: Tech Tacos

Grade 6

Team #540
Team name: FlyteZON
School: The Harker School

Team #52
Team name: ¢ommon Cent$
School: Ida Jew Academy

Team #80
Team name: Girl Scouts Can Do Anything!

Grades 7 and 8
Team #176
Team name: Ralston Ramps
School: Ralston Middle School

Team #261
Team name: Batteries Not Included
School: Discovery Charter School

Team #30
Team name: Mass Confusion
School: Bay Area Homeschool

Grades 9 to 12

Team #255
Team name: Tech It Out
School: Cupertino High School

Team #555
Team name: Team Œufs
School: Cupertino High School

Team #605
Team name: Branson Bulls

About The Tech Interactive

The Tech Interactive is a family-friendly science and technology center in the heart of downtown San Jose. Our hands-on activities, experimental labs and design challenge experiences empower people to innovate with creativity, curiosity and compassion. The Tech is a world leader in the creation of immersive STEAM education resources to develop the next generation of problem-solvers locally, nationally and globally. We believe that everyone is born an innovator who can change the world for the better.

Inspiring the innovator in everyone.