San Jose, Ca. – Tech Challenge, The Tech Museum of Innovation's signature design competition, returns Saturday, April 24 for another suspenseful and fun-filled season. Over 800 5th through 12th grade students will design, create and innovate solutions to a real world problem currently facing scientists – removal of predatory, non-native Pike fish from (The Tech's 60 gallon simulated) Sierra County's Lake Davis.
"By providing students a real-world problem to tackle, and stressing the importance of critical thinking, perseverance and teamwork, Tech Challenge embodies The Tech's mission to inspire innovation in a way no other such competition can," said Greg Brown, The Tech's vice president of engineering and technology. "Having started as a volunteer with the original challenge 1988, it's exciting for me to see the program grow into a 150+ team competition, to help fold The Tech's design challenge model into the curriculum of our community partner schools, and to even see former Tech Challenge participants come back and advise new teams of students."
About Tech Challenge
Tech Challenge is a design and engineering competition that uniquely delivers on The Tech Museum of Innovation's mission to inspire innovation in the next generation of leaders, by prompting students to engineer a solution to a reality-based problem. In its first 16 years, Tech Challenge has inspired nearly 6,500 students, and will play host this year alone to over 800 students.
This year's challenge asks students to remove (plastic) predatory, non-native pike from (The Tech's 60 gallon simulated) Lake Davis – a challenge that has stumped adult engineers for years. Either by shore or down into the water, groups have no more than three minutes to retrieve and return the pike to a designated area on shore. Students between fifth through twelfth grade are eligible, and teams can include no more than six members. Students work diligently on their designs as far as four months in advance.
Top honors go to winning design teams in each category. Special prizes are awarded in categories such as Best Entry, Best Design Journal, Most Creative Design, Most Courageous Team, Best Costume, and Most Spectacular Failure (a crowd favorite).
Tech Challenge's Big Day competition takes place on Saturday, April 24th from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Parkside Hall, located next to The Tech. Award ceremonies for the various grade levels will be held intermittently throughout the competition next door in The Tech's New Venture Hall.
About The Tech Museum of Innovation
Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif., The Tech Museum of Innovation, a non-profit organization, engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the young to become innovators in the technologies of the future. For more information, visit www.thetech.org or call (408) 294-TECH.