SourceAmerica Design Challenge Announces High School and Collegiate Winners of Annual Engineering Competition

By SourceAmerica 04/13/2016

Vienna, Va. — Duke University placed first in the SourceAmerica College Design Challenge, a national engineering competition to address employment issues faced by individuals with disabilities. Concord High School of Wilmington, Delaware, won the high school division of the challenge.

Duke's multidisciplinary team was recognized for its innovative device called Hanging with DECI. The team worked with Durham Exchange Club Industries (DECI) to modify two work tasks― straightening wire hangers and opening pill bottles―to minimize the need for complex movement and evaluation skills. Three devices were designed and built: a hanger straightener and two bottle openers. All three devices showed improvements in productivity and made the jobs accessible to those who were not previously able to perform the tasks.

Concord High's multidisciplinary team was recognized for its innovative device The Scan 'n Sorta barcode scanning device that alphabetically categorizes recycled medicine making sorting in pharmacies easy for employees with disabilities.

This year's winners also included:

College Division:

2nd Place: California State University, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California)
Nonprofit partner: MVLE (Springfield, Virginia)
Project: Be All You Can Be

3rd Place: Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon)
Nonprofit partner: Willamette Valley Rehabilitation Center (Lebanon, Oregon)
Project: The Pencil Packager

High School Division:

2nd Place: Poolesville High School (Poolesville, Maryland)
Nonprofit partner: Sunflower Bakery (Gaithersburg, Maryland)
Project: The Change Maker

3rd Place: Gardner Edgerton High School (Gardner, Kansas)
Nonprofit partner: Johnson County Developmental Supports (Lenexa, Kansas)
Project: CAPS

4th Place: Copley High School(Copley, Ohio)
Nonprofit partner: Weaver Industries ProPak (Akron, Ohio)
Project: The Fomo Nozzle Production and Packaging System

5th Place: Indianapolis Metropolitan High School (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Nonprofit partner: Goodwill Commercial Services (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Project: K.I.T.

"Through the dedicated work of students, coaches and nonprofit partners, the Design Challenge has a tremendous impact on communities,” said Charissa Garcia, Design Challenge coordinator. “We are addressing employment issues in a multi-faceted manner; the tools enhance employment success for those with disabilities, the projects help the students become better engineers and conscious employees, and the whole program showcases what can be accomplished when we work together.”

For more information, contact Charissa Garcia at or 703-584-3940. Visit and follow SourceAmerica on Facebook and Twitter.