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Thank you for another great year of Innovation!

Check below to see this years winners!

FOR STUDENTS

Learn how to solve problems and participate in the challenge! Explore the engineering design process and build and test your own prototypes. Win prizes for your solutions!

FOR TEACHERS

Learn how the Hub makes the Innovation Challenge easy for teachers to guide their students in this virtual science fair alternative with A/V resources, lesson plans.

2022 Innovation Challenge Winners

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

Overview:

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.

 

Use the Engineering Design Process to guide your project.

Follow this engineering process to research a problem, build and test your solution, and then share it with the world!

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. 

    Learn how to solve the world's problems like an engineer!

    Click the title to watch our videos!

    1. Define the Problem: Look around and think about problems you see and experience in your everyday life. Select and define the problem you plan to solve in your digital logbook.
    2. Conduct Background Research: Find existing solutions and think of how yours will be different. Be sure to paste titles and links of the resources you find into your logbook.
    3. Brainstorm & Evaluate: Brainstorm possible solutions and choose one to try. Begin planning what skills and materials you will need to create a prototype. Write it all down in your digital logbook.
    4. Plan & Gather Resources: Select a solution and list your project needs. Gather up resources.
    5. Develop and Test: Create a model of your solution. Test and evaluate your prototype. Use your logbook to write your findings. Does your project meet the requirements you specified? Refine and repeat as needed.
    6. Share Your Results: Design a presentation to communicate the results of your project and share them.

    Learn new skills from Innovation Hub experts.

    Dive into our virtual library below or ask your teacher to schedule a free consultation or training for your class!

    TEACHERS: FIND OUT HOW TO REQUEST THESE SERVICES IN OUR TEACHER’S GUIDE.

     

    Intro to Pottery Workshop in NLR

    Problem-Solving

    Learn More

    Learn how to solve a problem. Did you know there are ways to approach a problem in order to get a solution that works? 

    Intro to Pottery Workshop in NLR

    Design-Think-Build

    Learn More

    Learn the process of taking an idea and making it a reality using simple tools, found materials, and the power of your brain. Need to construct a solution of your great idea? Here’s how!

     

    Intro to Pottery Workshop in NLR

    What is a Prototype?

    Learn More

    Meet the Innovation Hub’s Production Lead, Zoë Eagan-Gardner, who will explain what a prototype is and how our production team at the Hub helps inventions come to life every day!

    Intro to Pottery Workshop in NLR

    Vector Design for Lasers

    Learn More

    Learn the art and power of vectors and what you can make with them! Vector designs use computers to make points, lines, and shapes which can be used to make logos, artwork, invention plans, and other awesome graphics.

    Intro to Pottery Workshop in NLR

    Building your brand!

    Learn More

    Businesses and products use art and design concepts to appeal to both their customers and investors. Thinking about the look and feel of your business or product is what branding is all about. Learn new skills to set your products and ideas apart from the competition and grab your audience’s attention quickly.

    Intro to Pottery Workshop in NLR

    3D Models with TinkerCAD

    Learn More

    Learn how to design 3D objects that show everyone what your idea looks like from all sides. This 3D model of your idea will help show others how it will work and help you measure real materials that you can use to build it. These 3D models could also be used to 3D print or use a machine to create a real version of your idea.

    Intro to Pottery Workshop in NLR

    Create Your Product Pitch

    Learn More

    Watch this video lead by Hannah May, Education Lead – to learn how to use Google slides to create your Product Pitch. Also how to submit your items into the competition.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is this the same thing as a science fair?

    Not exactly. The Innovation Challenge is “Science Fair meets Shark Tank.” It’s all about using the Engineering Design Process to find solutions to real problems.

    Can projects be created by a team? If so, how many to a team?

    Yes, teams of up to 5 students can participate, in addition to individual entrants.

    What should my project include?

    Projects should include the criteria the judges will use to calculate scores—found in the scoring criteria. Follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process and record each step clearly in your digital logbook. You will submit a PDF of your logbook for the judges to review. Be thorough and answer each question to the best of your ability. 

    Each project should include a video that defines the problem you chose and explains your solutions—both what worked and what didn’t. The video also provides an opportunity to show off your prototype and reveal any changes you would like to make.

    Should I use the Scientific Method or Engineering Design Process?

    Since this challenge is about invention, the Engineering Design Process is the more appropriate choice.

    How can I get help with my project?

    The Innovation Hub will hold four live Q&A sessions where students can join the discussion and ask questions. 

    We have also created a resource guide of organizations and businesses in Central Arkansas that specialize in each of the categories of the challenge.

    What prizes are awarded to winners?

    Overall Winners

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

    Do participants who don't win get anything?

    Each team that successfully completes the challenge by submitting a logbook and video about their project will receive a challenge coin.

    How do I submit my project?

    When it is time to submit your project, a submit button will appear at the top of this webpage where the registration button is.

    Students will save a PDF file of their logbook and will upload it in the submission form, along with their video file. For questions during the submission process, teachers may submit a question form (found on the teacher page).

    Explore the energy of the wind!

    Watch this step-by-step video on how to build a model that demonstrates turning wind power into electricity for a house.

    William Kamkwamba

    Check out this inspiring video story told by a young Malawian. William Kamkwamba describes how he built a windmill to power his family’s home at the age of 14, during a time of poverty and famine. The windmill produced electricity and was built from spare parts and scrap!

    Shark Tank Kid Entrepreneur

    Youths invent some of the innovations and products we live with and use. Watch this young man impress the investors of Shark Tank with his professional pitch of a successful product that he and his father developed.

    Thank you to Pulaski County Special School District for an excellent Pilot Program for the 2020-2021 Innovation Challenge!

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

    FIND US IN NLR

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

    (501) 907-6570

    info@arhub.org

    OUR HOURS

    • 9AM to 5PM on Mon - Friday