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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. 

Quick links

Free, Live Virtual Training & Consultation for you and your class

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. The same classes available in the virtual library are also available for your class as interactive, virtual experiences with our staff experts. Give your students a more robust and engaging experience that includes time for questions and answers. Project consultations are also available for students, teams, and teachers. 

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

Teacher Resources

Basic Information for Students

  • Feb. 15–Mar. 14 Teachers register students (form)
  • Mar. 15–Apr. 30 Students/teams will work on their projects
  • May 3 Submission deadline
  • May 4-7 Judges select Challenge finalists
  • May 7 Pitch dates for Challenge finalists announced
  • May 10-14 Pitch competitions for Challenge finalists

The Rules & Guidelines

The rules of the Innovation Challenge are listed below. You do not have to participate in a science fair in order to participate in the Innovation Challenge. However, if you do plan to be considered for CARSEF, be sure your project follows CARSEF Rules, as explained in these 2 videos: CARSEF Training 1 and CARSEF Training 2.


Students 3-12 in Pulaski County Special School District are eligible to participate in the competition. Teachers will register students between February 10th and March 14th.


Students can participate as individuals or in teams for the Innovation Challenge. Teams of up to 4 students can participate as a team. This applies to all grades participating in the challenge.

CARSEF rules regarding teams: Teams at the senior division (high school) should have no more than 3 students. For the junior division (4th to 8th grade), CARSEF guidelines are no more than 4 students per team.

ISEF rules regarding teams: Regional and state science fairs follow the ISEF rules for teams. For the junior division (4th to 8th grade), CARSEF guidelines are no more than 4 students per team.

Participants should know that Broadcom MASTERS (for 6th to 8th-grade students) only accept individuals. See Broadcom MASTERS Rules and Eligibility


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 slideshow presentation for their idea. Students will use the logbook template to record all of their ideas, questions, research, and results of the project. It is digital and easy to collaborate with team members.

Innovation Challenge Scoring Criteria

A team of jurors will review video presentations of each project and assign a score to each by scoring individual components of the scoring criteria below. The highest 5 overall scores will go on to a final round to present their projects virtually in front of a live panel of experts in innovation, entrepreneurship, and design.


  • Creativity (worth 10 points)
  • Originality/ Introduction of New Idea (worth 10 points)
  • Critical Thinking (worth 10 points)
  • Use of New Skill (worth 10 points)


Determine whether production of this product could be a feasible solution.

  • Replicability (worth 10 points)
  • Cost (worth 10 points)


How well were the project and product executed?

  • Design (worth 10 points)
  • Function (worth 10 points)
  • User experience (worth 10 points)


How well does this project solve a problem and how relevant is it?

  • Clearly defines a real problem (worth 10 points)
  • Solution adequately addresses the problem (worth 10 points)
  • Problem Selection / Has identified a problem that needs a solution (worth 10 points)
  • Impact / Solution has potential for impact (worth 10 points)


  • Clearly communicates the problem (worth 10 points)
  • Communicates how project solves a real problem (worth 10 points)
  • Uses visual information to communicate to audience (worth 10 points)
  • Creativity & Design of presentation (worth 10 points)
  • Overall communication and presentation skills (worth 10 points)

The Prizes

The top 5 winners will receive Innovation Challenge winner t-shirts, laser-cut certificates of achievement, and a package of virtual learning and group consultation to help take their ideas to the next level on topics like entrepreneurship, website design, 3D printing, laser cutting, and more.

One grand prize winner will be awarded a prototype of their product, a customized t-shirt of their new brand, one-on-one consultation in entrepreneurship, and 10 hours of private instruction.

Student's Guide to the Innovation Challenge

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/Wed/Fri
  • 9AM to 7PM on Tue/Thu