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STEM Design Challenge

Division: A- Elementary

NC Essential Standards Alignment: 4.P.2, 5.P.1, Science as Inquiry

Event Rules: STEM Design Challenge Rules 2023 – Coming Soon

Event Score Sheet: Score Sheet 2023 – Coming Soon

See the FAQ sheet below for some tips on this event.


This is a building event. Teams must work to design and build a structure that will solve a task as outlined in the rules.


Teams MUST bring writing instruments and their challenge box full of materials.

Event Leaders will provide the official scoresheet and challenge instructions.


Teams will be ranked into tiers based on adherence to the challenge instructions. Within each tier, teams must be ranked based on the scoring criteria for the build-off selected.

Common Mistakes:



Make sure the lid fits flush on the top of the box, and likewise do not bring any prohibited materials or tools, even if teams do not plan on using them.

Teams can only bring one picture of their device this year.  This cannot be a collage of photos.

Any K’nex pieces can be used from any kit to construct the challenges. If your team has an obscure piece or you think it might be questioned, feel free to include a picture of the part in the box showing that it is a K’nex piece.

Fast Facts:


Event Resources:

STEM Design Challenge FAQs
2021 STEM Design Challenge Coach Clinic Presentation
FAQs for the 2018 Device.  Last updated 10/13/17
PBS Kids Design Squad – Practice design challenges
Classroom Compass article on teaching design principles in the classroom
Engineering for Kids – links for learning engineering techniques