455 Boot Road, Downingtown PA 19355
484.237.5017 DianeT@cciu.org

The Challenge

The 2019 Challenge

Your teams must create a machine that will move 3 objects at least 6 inches across a table. The “crane” must pick up the object, move it at least 6 inches and set it back down. Your team can choose the objects that need to be moved. Please consider how environmentally friendly your machine is while presenting about your project. Be creative!

Additional Middle School Challenge

Teams competing in the grades 6-8 division will also be asked to present a budget of their project. They will need to inventory each K’Nex piece they use and list a price for each piece. They will need to present their inventory and an overall cost of their project.

Parts cost list

K’Nex Kits

More information coming soon.

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Challenge Success
  • Design
  • Presentation


  • Awards will be given to top three teams in grades 4-5 and grades 6-8
  • Additional prizes may be awarded (best blueprint, most creative, etc.)
  • First place winners in each division will advance to the state competition on May 17, 2019


STEM Design Challenge 2019

4 – 5 level Scoring Rubric

6 – 8 level Scoring Rubric

Note: The 6 – 8 level scoring rubric now includes an Inventory /Budget category.

History of Challenge

“The idea began with a conversation over coffee between a pair of friends and former colleagues, and in less than five years, it turned into a statewide phenomenon. “What if we could design a program that provides materials and training for educators and helps generate student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)?” they asked. That was at the heart of the conversation early in 2010 between Amy Cribbs and Jill Jones, who share a passion for science education dating back to their tenures working at Carnegie Science Center.”
Read more from the article “A Homegrown STEM Challenge Goes Statewide in Pennsylvania,” ThermoFisher Scientific, Thermofisher.com, which describes the origins of this fantastic student event.

Sponsored & Coordinated by: