2020 Official Rules PDF
Questions about the rules are addressed in Frequently Asked Questions.
Below is additional information that may be helpful to participants and advisers.
During device testing, the top priority is safety. Judges are authorized to stop any activity they view as unsafe. Teams are expected to handle and operate their devices safely. The judges’ word is final on safety-related issues.
The Tech Challenge emphasizes the importance of engineering solutions that would be practical in real life. Challenge course is a model of a real-world problem. Teams should develop designs that represent real-life solutions.
The Spirit of the Challenge is an important factor in scoring. The best engineering journals document an understanding of real-world factors and contain a detailed explanation of how your design might have practical, real-life applications. Teams should expect judges to press them on this issue and will be asked questions such as “How would your design work in real life?” A good explanation of how their design approach is compatible with the Spirit of the Challenge will have a positive influence on the team’s score.
While store-bought solutions are not prohibited, they are not in the Spirit of the Challenge.
As The Tech Challenge progresses, participating teams and The Tech staff may discover that the rules must be updated. All changes will be posted on The Tech Challenge website, and registered teams will be notified by email regarding significant changes. Changes posted to the website will be labeled by date. Please check the website often for updates.
The Tech Challenge judges will evaluate your team's project as a whole, including your device's performance, your engineering design process and journal, and your style and presentation. Judges also award points for teamwork, perseverance and other categories.
At the showcase, two or more judges will join you for the interview and device performance phase. This is a great chance to engage with Silicon Valley engineers.
Let your personalities shine! During the pre-performance interview, you should be prepared to:
Judges will meet you at the test rig to watch the demonstration of your device. They are looking for excellence in teamwork, safety, setup and operation of the device as well as adherence to all rules and how well your device meets the challenge.
Your engineering journal will be examined by judges who will be looking for organization, completeness and all other aspects described in the Engineering Journal guidelines on the Team Guide page.