The Tech Museum of Innovation is proud to celebrate the 30th year of its signature program The Tech Challenge, presented by Dell. The annual program inspires the next generation of Silicon Valley innovators by enabling teams of students in Grades 4–12 to use engineering design to solve a real-world problem.
More than 20,000 students have participated since the program started in 1988. This year's Challenge includes a record level of participation, with more than 700 teams from schools around the Bay Area and as far away as Oregon, culminating The Tech Challenge Showcase April 29-30, 2017, during which students put their designs to the test for judged demonstrations.
“It’s amazing to be part of a three-decade legacy of helping students develop skills like critical thinking, collaboration, and learning from failure,” said Abby Longcor, Senior Director of The Tech Challenge. “Thirty years ago, The Tech Challenge was the first of its kind and to this day, it remains one of the few engineering or science competitions with a focus on under-served communities and building a diverse STEM pipeline.”
The Tech Challenge is one of the most diverse programs of its kind. Approximately 45 percent of participants are girls, and about 40 percent come from low-income communities. The program has a low registration fee, which is waived for teams from low-income Title I schools. The challenges change each year and have evolved so teams can succeed using materials that are affordable and easy to find.
For this year’s program, teams have been designing and building a device to help explorers cross an ice field with multiple ravines. Students are working on their solutions and documenting their process leading up to The Tech Challenge Showcase.The theme mirrors the first challenge in 1988, where teams built devices to travel across gaps in Martian terrain.
For previous challenges, teams have built things like earthquake-safe structures, gliders, Mars rovers and devices to move water. Key sponsors supporting The Tech Challenge 2017 include presenting sponsor Dell, Cisco Systems Inc., SAP, Intel, Bank of America, Genentech and Cadence.
WHEN: April 29-30, 2017
WHERE: The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose
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