2021 Past Winners

2021 College Team Winners

First Place - California State University, Los Angeles, and the National Taipei University of Technology

Team: Zeno Effect

Project: Leveraging Tech to Create a More Efficient Assembly Process

Team Zeno Effect from California State University LA partnered with National Taipei University of Technology for this Design Challenge. The team designed a web-based data tracking platform that increases efficiency in the assembly process for employees with disabilities and help managers spot areas needing attention. It includes advanced technologies, such as facial and object recognition, and will help organizations better meet their production goals. The team’s human-centered system enables supervisors to help employees with disabilities improve their on-the-job performance and demonstrates how data analytics in a manufacturing environment can be leveraged to better achieve production goals.


Second Place - California State University, Los Angeles, and the National Taipei University of Technology

Team: Midas Touch

Project: Focusing on Ease of Use and Ergonomics to Create Employment Options

Team Midas Touch from California State University LA partnered with National Taipei University of Technology for this Design Challenge. The team designed a kitting and packing station that included a kitting pattern board with matching colors and numbers to help employees more easily identify which items to insert into the various slots. The kitting and packaging prototype also included a foot-pedal-operated sealer machine and other ergonomic features that have the potential to provide additional employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The team simulated various challenges while operating the device and anticipates employees with disabilities, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will benefit from it.


Third Place - California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo: San Luis Obispo, CA

Project: Kicking Efficiency into High Gear with a Kitting Workstation

The California Polytechnic State University senior project team created a kitting workstation designed to reduce errors and increase efficiency for employees experiencing dexterity issues. The workstation incorporates sorting plates, a bag roll, a heat sealer, and a funnel to create a more efficient kitting process. The goal of the workstation is to enable employees with dexterity issues to work as efficiently as those without dexterity issues, thus improving the user experience and overall process.

2021 High School Team Winners

First Place - Catlin Gabel School: Portland, OR

Project: Zipping Through Barriers to Employment with ZipBag

The Catlin Gabel team partnered with On-the-Move PDX to build a Ziploc bag opening and closing device. The device, called ZipBag, presents a safe and easy way for people with limb differences and lower dexterity to handle resealable bags. Utilizing foot pedals and a simple design, ZipBag requires the use of only one hand and a minimal amount of fine motor skills to operate. According to On-the-Move, ZipBag has the potential to increase productivity and remove barriers to employment for people with limb differences and lower dexterity.


Second Place - Poolesville High School: Poolesville, MD

Project: Clocking an Increase in Inclusion with a Time-Clock Application

The Bigger Than Engineering team from Poolesville High School created a time clock based on advice from RespectAbility and the American Council of the Blind. The time clock utilizes a user-friendly and intuitive interface featuring images and large, bolded text. A barcode scanner is linked with the application to accommodate those who are unable to manually click or type in their information. Managers also have the capability to update employee information and to export tables of employee and job data. Although the time clock has not been tested in a workplace, it shows great potential.


Third Place - Oswego East High School: Oswego, IL

Project: Ramping Up Efficiency and Ease with Robo-Sticker

The Semi-Professionals team from Oswego East High School, used 3D printing and Lego technics to create a label-placing device. The device, called Robo-Sticker, measures boxes using five light sensors and can center and place labels in six seconds on a wide variety of box sizes. The Robo-Sticker will help individuals with low hand dexterity, vision impairment, or limb differences more easily and efficiently place labels on boxes.


Fourth Place - Brentwood High School: Brentwood, NY

Project: Stamping out Labeling Frustration with the Quick Stamper

The Brentwood High School Quick Stamper team created a label-placing device called The Quick Stamper. The Quick Stamper incorporates an easy-to-follow, four-step process that increases the accuracy of placing labels onto the center of boxes using a stamping method. The team’s volunteer device tester, a student with disabilities, experienced an increase in accuracy and decrease in frustration when placing labels using this device.


Fifth Place - Diamond Bar High School: Diamond Bar, CA

Project: Taking a Comprehensive Approach to Tackle Multiple Challenges

The DB Engineers from Diamond Bar High School developed solutions for all four challenges: the time clock; trimming station; bag opening, closing, and filling; and label alignment. The DB Engineers created multiple devices, taking into account limited dexterity, motor skills, and other challenges employees with disabilities may face in the workplace. Each solution can be cost-effectively replicated for use across the country.