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Welcome to the Innovation Challenge!

We’ve put together all the resources you need to facilitate the challenge for your students along with opportunities for live virtual training and consultation with your students. Use the contact form below to schedule a training or consultation—or to ask questions. 

Free, Live Virtual Training & Consultation

Available at 10 AM – 12:00 PM Feb. 21, Feb. 28 & Mar. 14

The Innovation Hub can help you and your class learn a new skill that can be used to present your ideas for the Innovation Challenge. 

Each week, you’ll receive an email packed to the brim with videos and lessons designed to guide your students through the challenge. Be sure to save our email address to your contact list so you’ll receive them!

You and your students are invited to explore our virtual library of on-demand videos, covering everything from prototyping to design to basic construction principles. We can also present these topics as live, virtual experiences—and our expert educators are available to consult via Zoom with students, teams, and teachers on projects.

Virtual classes and consultations are free, but slots are limited. Please schedule at least one week in advance of your target date. 

Teacher Resources

How the Innovation Challenge works!

Are you ready to change the world—one idea at a time? Great! Let's get started!

Check out how the Innovation Hub can help you and your students through problem solving and learning new skills.

  • Step 1: Think about the problems you encounter regularly.
  • Step 2: Think about how you can solve the problem.
  • Step 3: Apply a new skill to your solution.
  • Step 4: Develop your solution & share it with the world!
  • January 12-24 Teachers register students (form)
  • March 18 Submission deadline
  • April 6 Finalists announced
  • April 13 Virtual pitch competitions for grades 4-12

Innovation Challenge
Rules and Guidelines 2022


The Innovation Hub is Challenging students to become problem solvers and inventors through our first Central Arkansas Regional Innovation Challenge!

  • Step 1: Think about problems you encounter regularly.
  • Step 2: Think about how YOU can solve that problem.
  • Step 3: Apply a new skill to your solution 
  • Step 4: Develop your solution and share it!

Important Dates:

  • January 17, 2022 - Submit registration form
  • March 18, 2022 - Submission deadline for completed projects
  • April 6, 2022 - Finalists announced
  • April 13, 2022 - Virtual Finalists Pitch Competition

Rules and Guidelines:

  • Innovation Challenge Eligibility: K-12 Students in these Central Arkansas counties are eligible:
    • Faulkner
    • Saline 
    • Pulaski 
    • Perry 
    • Lonoke 
    • Grant 
    • Garland 
    • Hot Spring
    • Jefferson

Grades 4th-12th - Innovation Challenge

All submissions will be scored competitively with one another based on the scoring criteria, regardless of age. We recommend at least one student in grades 4th-12th. 

Grades K-3rd are eligible for the Innovation Idea Challenge! 

We are also hosting a shorter, age-appropriate K-3rd grade challenge that focuses primarily on idea development. Students will still think through how to solve a problem and will choose from a variety of ways to present their idea (drawing, using Vector or TinkerCAD design, or creating a prototype out of paper or recycled materials). A short written description of the idea is also required and a video describing the idea is optional.

Teams: Students can participate as individuals or in teams, up to 5 students.

Process: Students will learn about the Engineering Design Process and use it to define a problem, think of a solution, create a prototype using new skills, and finally submit a video presentation of their idea. 

Challenge Categories: This year, our categories are listed below. You can still enter with a project that doesn’t specifically fit neatly into one of these categories, but special prizes will be awarded for winners of each. 

  • Environment & Climate Change 
  • Ecology 
  • Agriculture & Biodiversity 
  • Technology - robotics, apps, electronics 
  • Social Justice 

Scoring & Winning: A panel of judges will review the submitted projects and score them according to the scoring criteria.

Prizes: There will be cash prizes, trophies, and t-shirts for winners. See the prizes tab to learn more about specific prizes.

Scoring & Winning: A panel of judges will review the submitted projects and score them according to the scoring criteria below. 

Judges will use the criteria listed below to score contestants.

Innovation 3 points

  • Is the problem original?
  • Was the way they solved the problem creative?
  • Does the solution seem feasible? 

Community Impact 2 points

  • Does this invention help people? 
  • Will this have a positive impact on the world at large?

Execution 4 points

  • Was the design well-considered? 
  • Did they submit a visual aid? 
  • Was the user experience considered? 
  • Did they submit their logbook?

Presentation  6 points

  • Did the presenter(s) clearly communicate the problem?
  • Did the presenter(s) communicate how their project solved the problem?
  • Uses visual information to communicate to the audience?
  • Did they submit a video?
  • Did they cover all requested info? 
  • Was the video informative and well organized? 

Overall Quality 5 points

4th-12th Grade Innovation Challenge

First, second, and third place overall winners will receive cash awards, along with trophies and shirts.

  • Each student on the 1st place team will receive $75.
  • Each student on the 2nd place team will receive $50.
  • Each student on the 3rd place team will receive $25. 
  • The other 7 overall finalist teams will receive a trophy and a t-shirt for each participating student.

County Winners

One county winner will be selected from each of the 9 counties and will receive a trophy.

Category Winners

One winner will be selected from each of the following categories to receive a special award:

  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Ecology 
  • Agriculture & Biodiversity
  • Technology 
  • Social Justice

Grade Winners

One winner will be selected from each participating grade and will receive a trophy

K-3rd Grade Idea Challenge

We will award K-3rd grade ideas in each school district with a trophy and a t-shirt.


Submission Deadline 3/18/22!

For K-12Student's Guide

Register students by January 24, 2022

The Spring 2022 Innovation Challenge is open for students in the following Central Arkansas counties:
Faulkner, Garland, Grant, Hot Spring, Jefferson, Lonoke, Perry, Pulaski & Saline. 

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub is a proud affiliate of Winrock International.


Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
204 E 4th St
North Little Rock, AR 72114

(501) 907-6570



  • 9AM to 5PM on Mon - Friday