SourceAmerica High School Design Challenge Announces Winners of Annual Technology Competition

By SourceAmerica 02/25/2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 25, 2015 - Copley High School placed first in the SourceAmerica Design Challenge today for their device called the FOMO Nozzle Machine. The team partnered with Weaver Industries to develop the technology, which increased efficiency by mechanizing a manual assembly process.

The annual SourceAmerica Design Challenge is a national engineering and technology competition that provides a unique approach to address employment issues faced by people with disabilities. High school students spend months partnering with a nonprofit that employs people with disabilities to identify a workplace challenge they are facing, and then develop a device to meet those needs.

"The technology the students create for the SourceAmerica Design Challenge create is game changing for the people who benefit from it," said Steven Soroka, president and CEO of SourceAmerica. "Working side-by-side with an individual with a disability, these students implement ideas that change lives. Through their ingenuity, we are getting closer to the day when every person with a disability who wants a job has a job, and has the tools to be successful at it."

Submissions for the Design Challenge must provide greater access to employment for people with disabilities in one of the following areas: computer access, environmental accommodations, functional control and access, transportation/mobility, communication assistance, cognitive accessories; or any device or system that gives access or improved earnings to people with disabilities.

Five finalist teams were invited to present their projects in Washington, D.C. for a panel of judges and the public. The teams, coaches and schools all received cash prizes.

This year's other high school finalists include:.

  • Second Place: Poolesville High School; Shoelace Coiler
  • Third Place: Olathe East High School; Assistant Tape Placer
  • Fourth Place: East Catholic High School; Robert's U-bolt Device
  • Fifth Place: Poolesville High School; Criss-Crosser

"I don't know of any other competition out there like this that has this kind of impact on the community," said Charissa Garcia, Design Challenge Coordinator. "Graduates of this program received a patent for their technology. Participants also helped nonprofits secure contracts, which provide more employment opportunities for people with disabilities."

To learn more about the SourceAmerica High School Design Challenge, please visit: