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2023 Engineering Challenge Sees Record Participation

The 9th annual challenge sparked interest in engineering in thousands of students around the world. Winners have been announced.

Three students who entered the Ping Pong Pickup Challenge with the device they entered

Record Participation in the 2023 Science Buddies Engineering Challenge

More than 13,000 K-12 students were inspired to explore engineering with the 2023 Science Buddies Engineering Challenge. Students working in teams of 1-4, from 33 countries around the world took the Ping Pong Pickup Challenge to design a device that can pick up a ping pong ball from a distance and return it to the start line.

The annual Engineering Challenge makes it easy for educators to give students the opportunity to think and work like engineers. Most educators and students who participated had some or no experience with engineering, but the challenge is designed in such a way that students take charge of the learning.

"The Science Buddies Engineering Challenge is all about trying engineering. The Ping Pong Pickup Challenge was simple enough on the surface to enable even the youngest of students to create successful devices. To achieve great reach was more difficult, which made the challenge scale well for older students," said Sandra Slutz, Vice President of STEM Education at Science Buddies. "Students across the globe did a fantastic job making iterative changes to stabilize and reinforce their designs and then make them reach farther and farther. We heard so many educator stories about students' enthusiasm and perseverance, and that really shows in the great devices we saw built."

The 2023 Science Buddies Engineering Challenge results page contains more information and statistics about this year's Ping Pong Pickup Challenge and awards, including leader boards by age group and pictures of the many creative solutions entered in this year's challenge.

Science Buddies is thankful for partners like EPAM Systems, Inc., a leading digital transformation services and product engineering company, who made the 2023 Engineering Challenge possible. EPAM is committed to giving back to communities and sharing its time and talent to improve STEM education around the world.

"We're excited to empower the next generation of innovators and engineers through STEM opportunities like the Science Buddies Engineering Challenge, which inspires and engages thousands of students worldwide to think and work like engineers," said Kate Pretkel, VP, Special People Programs at EPAM. "By nurturing the creativity and problem-solving skills of young learners, we can help create a better future for all."

While the official 2023 Science Buddies Engineering Challenge has ended, the instructional materials for the Ping Pong Pickup Challenge and all prior Engineering Challenges are available for free and are ideal resources to teach engineering anytime in a variety of settings.

Students watching another student test a device for the Ping Pong Pickup Challenge

Above: Students watching a student test a device for the Ping Pong Pickup Challenge.

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