Design Challenge FAQs
What defines a team?
A team is a coach and one to five student team members. One of the students must be selected as the team leader. The team leader will register the team. The team is permitted to meet virtually and should not meet in person. This is to maintain distance learning rules and social distancing protocols.
How does our team decide on a project?
After registering a list of approved preselected projects and the rule book will be available for download in Egnyte. If you need additional guidance, please reach out to our Mentorship Program by contacting Charissa Garcia at email@example.com.
Can our invention be software-based?
Yes. Your team will need to supply all relevant files, including any code written for the invention. You must also provide instructions on how to use the software.
Can our invention use a microcontroller or other electromechanical parts?
Yes. Your team will need to supply all relevant files, including any code written for the invention. You must also provide instructions on how to use the invention.
What is the average cost of the Design Challenge entries, and who pays for this?
There is no cost to join the competition. Your project’s cost can vary, depending on what your resources permit. Typically, your team is responsible for the cost of the project. However, if cost is an issue, please let us know, and we will try to help.
Can our school have more than one team?
Yes. There is no limit to how many teams a school can have. However, each team leader must register separately.
Are students required to be enrolled in a specific high school?
No. Students enrolled in any high school are eligible to join the Design Challenge. Additionally, students from different high schools may be on the same team. Community clubs and independent learners are also welcome to participate. Examples include 4-H, scouts, religious groups or social clubs, such as hackerspaces/makerspaces, and homeschooled students.
Can we register without having picked a project?
Yes. You will have access to the list of approved projects after you register.
Can we change what project we want to work on?
Yes. You can change your project at any time.
Can we get help?
Yes. SourceAmerica encourages students to take advantage of SourceAmerica mentors/advisors and individuals in your community, and in your NPA who can offer additional assistance. The SourceAmerica Mentorship Program provides support and advice throughout the competition. To request a mentor, please contact Charissa Garcia.
What are the awards for the National Winners?
Each team will receive monetary award for each team member (up to five students), one coach, and school. Details of the awards are provided in the rule book.
How will my team be judged?
Judges for the Design Challenge comprise rehabilitation engineers, people with disabilities, and others with relevant backgrounds. They are responsible for evaluating the content of technical papers and videos. Projects are evaluated based on their potential impact on the workplace, not on their level of sophistication. Judges will rely on digital models, animations, prototypes, and/or code examples to guide their decisions. More details on judging are provided in the webinars.
How do I sign up for a webinar?
The webinar series will be available to you after registration.
If our team becomes a finalist, what is expected of us?
Finalists are required to give an online presentation about their project to the judges and audience and respond to judges' questions. More details about the virtual event will be provided to the finalist teams.