Photo By: Courtesy of Diana Schneider
More than 3,500 students, including teams from local schools, gathered at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose last month to compete in the annual Tech Challenge.
The Tech Challenge, the Bay Area’s largest team-design competition, harnesses the brainpower of innovative youth to solve a real-world problem.
A signature program of The Tech Museum, the Tech Challenge provides months of team learning in science, technology, engineering and math, and reinforces 21st-century skills of creativity, problem solving, design, teamwork, leadership, presentation, risk-taking, perseverance and learning from failure.
This year’s challenge, “Asteroids Rock!,” challenged teams to pit their devices against others in an attempt to deploy and safely land three egg-carrying containers onto model asteroids. Rival teams wore whimsical costumes and dubbed themselves with tongue-in-cheek names such as Team Splat and The Flying Invisible Eggmen from the Asteroid Belt.
A total of 3,562 students participated, making up hundreds of teams. Fifth- and sixth-graders and high-schoolers competed April 20, with seventh- and eighth-graders vying the following day.
Local winners of the 2013 Tech Challenge:
• Egan Junior High School students on The Flying Invisible Eggmen from the Asteroid Belt team placed second in the Best Engineering category. The team included Charlie Wan, Danny Vesurai, Kenny Liu, Geoffrey Glars and Ryan Huang.
• Team Splat, comprising Oak Avenue School fifth-graders, won a Judges Award for Professionalism and Organization. The team included Patrick Hecht, Dylan Pham, Ian Schneider and James Vadasz. Dean Vadasz acted as a team manager.
• The Techno Girls team from Oak received an award for Sportsmanship.
• The Purple Polka Dots team comprising Santa Rita School fifth-graders earned the Judges Award for Simplest Design. Members Amelia Desai, Annabella Tenorio, Arthi Vaidyanathan and Sophia Lazara spent seven months designing, building and refining their catapult.
• Team EPMFH (NPI) from Blach Intermediate School received a Judges’ Award for their efforts.
For more information, visit thetechchallenge.thetech.org.