Hundreds of teams of students from grades 5-6 and 9-12 put their original innovations the test today, the first day of competition at The Tech Challenge 2014 presented by Cisco, the Bay Area’s largest youth design-challenge competition. The “Bad News Bears” team of five from St. Martin of Tours first place for “Best Overall Solution” and emphasized perseverance and thinking big as keys to success, “No matter how big the challenge, if you work hard, anything is possible,” said Connor Hearney, 11. Teammate Michael Woo, 11, echoed the same sentiment, “Every problem has a solution.”
The two-day event concludes Sunday, April 13 when students in grades 7-8 take the stage and present their creative devices.
“One of The Tech’s deepest beliefs is that everyone is born to be a problem solver,” said Museum President Tim Ritchie. “The Tech Challenge gives participants an opportunity to experience and show how innovative they can be.”
Every year, the annual team design-challenge presents participants with a hands-on project geared to solving a real-world problem. This year’s challenge, Harnessing the Wind, saw students use the power of wind to move water to the people who need it most. Participants revealed their entrepreneurial spirits and tried their hand at utilizing the wind as a plausible solution to lowering the total energy consumption in the moving and processing of water.
The Tech Challenge, a signature program of The Tech, provides months of team learning in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and reinforces 21st-century skills of creativity, problem solving, design, teamwork, leadership, presentation, risk-taking, perseverance, and learning from failure.
“The ingenuity and commitment exemplified by students at The Tech Challenge is extraordinary,” said Jessica Graham, Cisco’s Community Relations Manager. “Our Cisco volunteers here today welcome the opportunity to inspire the next generation of innovators.”
In all, 1,200 students stepped up to the challenge to use the renewable energy source for this year’s competition now in its 27th year. Teams competed for several titles ranging from “Most Sustainable” to “Best Engineering Design” to “Best Prototyping.” Every participant also received a medal, T-shirt, water bottle, and team photo for their hard work, ingenuity and dedication.
For decades, The Tech Challenge has allowed some 13,500 young girls and boys throughout California and other regions to hone their creativity and innovation on a variety of scenarios including building devices to explore Mars craters, fight wildfires, rescue earthquake victims, collect samples in the rainforest, and last year to deploy instruments to an asteroid.
The top award – “Best Overall Solution” – was awarded to three teams in each of the 5th-6th and 9th-12th grade divisions. Best Overall Solution encompasses device performance, engineering and design, style and presentation, and the scientific process. AND THE 2014 WINNERS ARE…
5th-6th grade Division
- Bad News Bears
- Team # 133
- St. Martin of Tours
- FOuR the WINdz
- Team # 15
- John Sinnott Elementary School
- Team # 372
- Carden Day School of San Jose, Hyde Middle School, and Kennedy Middle school in Cupertino
9th-12th grade Division
- H2I – Happy to Innovate
- Team # 72
- Fremont Home School Team
- The Airbenders
- Team # 322
- Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula
- Team # 0
- Head-Royce School
Other teams took home prizes for their achievement in Engineering Design, Spirit, Device Performance, Sportsmanship and Best Use of Cardboard and Duct Tape. View the complete list of winners.
For more information on The Tech Challenge, visit: thetechchallenge.thetech.org/
2014 The Tech Challenge sponsors
- Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Aruba Networks
- Motorola Solutions Foundation
- Fairchild Semiconductor
- Lockheed Martin
- TE Connectivity
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.