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Design Challenge 2012

Major funding provided by:

Stats: Over 273 participants and 91 Teams Registered

2012 Team List 2012 Results

This year is the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. Chevron, as a major supporter of the communities in which it works, has agreed to sponsor some of the celebrations and events surrounding the bridge’s 75th anniversary. As part of this effort, they will be holding a large contest to help publicize the events and will be awarding a number of bridge-related prizes. Several hundred portable coolers will be awarded as third place prizes. Chevron wants these to be unique and highly desirable collectables that can be taken to outdoor events. They must be branded with the Chevron logo and must somehow incorporate design elements of the Golden Gate Bridge. Chevron insists that the design be unique, creative and linked to the bridge but they are completely open to additional features you might want to add to the cooler. One suggestion was to make it serve multiple purposes when you took it to an outdoor event but they didn’t have any suggestions for what these might be.

When you do your brainstorming, you should consider how best to make it relate to the bridge and what, if any, additional features it should have. What else would be a useful feature to include? Will you incorporate any electronics? If so, how will you power them? Will it include storage compartments for other items and, if so, will you include these items are part of the prize? Chevron is open to any good idea as long as it is reasonably practical, not overly expensive compared to the cost of the rest of the cooler, and can be readily manufactured. They want the cooler to be a sturdy, quality product and any additional features need to be reliable during normal use. Chevron is also open to adding any sensible technological features you envision;in order to help with this they have located a manufacturer that supplies inexpensive electronic modules you can incorporate into the Cooler. These electronic modules are not waterproof but draw very low power (only about as much as a cell phone in standby mode) and have the following capabilities that you may use:

* Bluetooth Communication – Two-way communication with most Bluetooth devices so it can send and receive messages including data, voice or music
* Built-in memory to store 5 minutes of voice or music
* A built-in temperature sensor and built-inclock/calendar capability
* A built-in microprocessor that you can easily program and use to do math calculations
* A built-in piezo “buzzer” that can make various “chirping” and soft alarm sounds
* Able to connect four push buttons to its input to control what it does.

Use of this electronic module is completely optional; no points will be deducted for failure to use it. It should only be used to add features that are important to your design. Do NOT include a speaker or microphone that could be damaged in normal use. You must provide adequate power to the electronic module in such a way that it does not affect reliability; remember that this cooler is likely to be used at the beach. A flexible solar panel adequate for this purpose may be found on your flash drive in .jpg format.

Design Constraints

The following design constraints must be satisfied for your Cooler: It must hold a minimum of ten, 12 ounce soda cans plus six sandwiches. It must be insulated and have room for ice or an ice substitute. If you choose to use the electronic module (on your flashdrive), it must be mounted safely inside.

If you choose to incorporate a rechargeable battery, push buttons or the flexible solar panel you must mount them on your Cooler in such a way as to survive normal use. Note that the flexible solar panel is only supplied to you as a .jpg file and it must be applied using the decal feature of Inventor. Your must create a minimum of four different parts in addition to the parts supplied on your flashdrive.

The Chevron logo must be clearly visible on the Cooler along with any other artwork you create.

The design must not incorporate exotic parts or materials that would make it too expensive. Parts that will be immersed in water or exposed to the elements must be able to survive such treatment.

Power for the electronic module needs to be supplied in some convenient reliable means.


IED Design Information 2011

Major funding provided by:

For the both the regional and state contests the teams will be given a short design brief in the morning and will have the entire day to work together and create an original design that meets the specifications given. At various times during the day, the teams will submit sketches, assembly drawings, parts drawings and an exploded view with Bill-of Materials for judging. At the end of the day, they will give a 6-minute short PowerPoint presentation to a panel of engineers. The specific agendas for the competitions are posted in the download section.

For more information contact Duane Crum at

Please register your team (on the home page) by at least two weeks before your event. You may enter multiple teams from one school but we will begin by only guaranteeing one slot per school until we learn how many teams are interested. Multiple team entries will be accommodated in the order they are received so enter early. It is expected that the computer lab will have the latest version of Inventor available.

POE Design Information 2011

Major funding provided by:

Regional Competitions A design specification will be posted on this site for download four weeks before their competition. The teams will build their device and bring it to the competition for demonstration and judging. An example of a past contest’s specifications can be found in the download section.

The format for the State finals is To Be Determined.

Please register your team (on the home page) by at least two weeks before your event (we need to get your T-shirts to you ahead of the event). You may enter multiple teams from one school but we will begin by only guaranteeing one slot per school until we learn how many teams are interested. Multiple team entries will be accommodated in the order they are received so enter early. The specific agendas for the competitions will be posted in the download section.

Previous Design Brief – Used in 2009
Request for Automation System for the WESTEC Manufacturing Corp.

The WESTEC Manufacturing Corporation will be building a new manufacturing facility soon and they require a custom automation system for their production line. A competition will be held at the WESTEC 2009 Exposition at the LA Convention Center on April 1 to select the supplier for their needs. Each competing team will build a prototype of their entry and bring it to the event for competitive testing. Prizes will be provided for each team member of the top three teams. A machine is required that receives randomly stacked containers and sorts them according to size and color. The requirements are listed below.

The competition will begin at approximately 11am at the LA Convention Center. Each team will be provided a table with AC power. The doors will be open by 9am for setup and last minute fine-tuning.

Each team is limited to no more than three high school student members that are enrolled in a Project Lead The Way program. It is highly encouraged that a teacher or other adult accompany the teams. Lunch will be provided for teams and guests.

It is also encouraged that each school prepare a posterboard presentation on their PLTW program. You could include descriptions of the courses, examples of student projects, photos, etc. An award will also be presented to the school with the best posterboard presentation on their school’s PLTW program.

This event is part of PLTW day at WESTEC 2009 and we hope to showcase the great work that the California PLTW students are doing. A large and diverse audience is expected.


The machine must be constructed of only Fischertechnik parts. The parts cannot be altered in any way. There is no limit to the number of laptops, baseplates and interfaces you use. Each team will submit a spreadsheet listing all of the parts used in their entry by Mar. 28 to
The machine is to sit, free-standing on a tabletop.
Cardboard, tape, adhesives, and paper may be used but only for the purpose of manipulating or controlling light sources and/or photo sensors (if used) or for esthetic purposes and may not, in any way, provide structural support for the machine. Tubing or wire may not be used for structural purposes. The teams are encouraged to add logos and customize their machines.
At the time of competition, you will be supplied a set of six (6) 1” x 2” (nominal) pine blocks, their true dimensions will be close to 3/4” x 1-1/2”. The blocks will be painted either entirely gloss white or flat black and will be either 2”, 2.5” or 3” long. The block set consists of one of each:

The footprint of the machine is defined as the maximum distances between the opposing outer edges of the base plates. This footprint cannot exceed 31” x 31”
The machine will have a top- or side-loadable hopper, or receiving area, where the judges will place a stack of 6 blocks (in a pre-selected, randomly stacked order). In doing so, the stack must be positioned somewhere along one face of the foot print of the machine so that the blocks sit within the first 3” and the longitudinal axes of the blocks are parallel to the face with the 1” length side being the vertical dimension (see orientation in the drawing below, left stack).
Once the blocks are loaded, the machine is to be turned on and must then run autonomously to move the blocks to the other side of the machine and stack them according to color and length as shown in the drawing (right stack). The final stack is to be placed on a base plate within a 6.5” max. length zone that is anywhere within 3” of the outer face opposite the edge where the blocks were loaded. No human intervention is allowed once the machine starts.

Be aware that the ambient lighting conditions in the room are an uncertainty but the lighting will remain constant from 9am to noon.
The winning machine will be the one that successfully stacks the blocks in each of three runs. A different stacked arrangement of blocks will be used in each run and the same three arrangements will be used for each team’s trials. The judges will record the time that the machine takes to complete the task and the longest time of the three runs will be the final score for each team. The team with the lowest final score will be the winner.
In the event that the time difference between two or more teams is less than 0.5 secs., a score, based on the type and number of parts used in the machine, will be the final criteria; the lowest score deciding the winner order. The chart at the end of this document lists the points applied to the various Fischertechnik parts. This score is to be calculated by each team and provided with the parts list due by Mar. 28. You do not need to list wire or tubing used.
Please direct any questions about the competition to Bruce Westermo,

Stacking Orientation and Dimensions
The left unit is the input stack, the right unit is the final stack.
Shaded blocks are flat black, the others are gloss white.

Previous Design Brief – Used in 2008

Your team works for Sickness, Inc., a small, independent design firm in San Diego. You company has been hired by Rockstar Games, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto, to develop a new product for them. They have decided to use the incredible brand recognition of their software to sell related hardware products. You have been tasked to develop their first new product, a set of computer speakers that will be branded as “Official Grand Theft Auto Speakers”.

The speaker set will consist of a matched pair of desktop speakers along with a sub-woofer that will sit on the floor. Your team is responsible only for designing the desktop speaker enclosures. Since they will be almost identical, except for the controls, you only have to design one of the two speaker enclosures.

When you are done, you will present your design to the senior management and marketing department of Rockstar Games. They do not yet care about fasteners, electrical connectors, or other manufacturing details so you do not need to show these in your design. They just want to see the basic design and the separate parts that will be assembled to form the speaker assembly. They insist that it have a volume control, some way to turn the power on/off, and a bass control for the sub-woofer. They have placed no other constraints on your design but they have told you that they are primarily concerned about manufacturing costs and marketability.

Their engineering department has given you the specifications for the actual speaker that will be used in your speaker enclosure. You will find a drawing of this speaker on your flash drives. Your enclosure must accommodate this speaker element to be acceptable to Rockstar.

You are encouraged to go on the Internet to learn more about Rockstar Games and their products so that you can make sure your design is suitable for them. You are also free to browse other speaker designs to get some basic ideas. However, you must create an original speaker design and your team will be disqualified if you simply copy some other speaker design you find on the Internet.

You are also strongly advised to read the attached rules and schedule carefully so you can allocate your time appropriately. These were sent to your coach over a week ago and we expect that you have seen them before. We do not want to disqualify any teams simply because they failed to read the rules but we will be forced to do so to make the competition fair.