Online Challenges

STEM Research Project: Biomimicry in Engineering

Description

Participation in VEX Robotics competitions offers a direct response to workforce and industry needs with participants more likely to consider studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) beyond high school. The STEM Research Project encourages students to learn about how robotics and what they’re learning in the classroom have practical applications in their lives. In this 2021-22 season, the STEM Research Project theme is Biomimicry in Engineering.

Biomimicry is an approach to engineering that solves challenges by observing nature in action and using that knowledge to inspire new ideas. Many existing projects owe their design to biomimicry, and the number of technologies inspired by animals and plants continues to grow. How can you use inspiration from nature to engineer a new technological solution or create a better way to help people?

Enter by January 18, 2022

Eligibility
Prizes
Challenge Requirements
Judging Criteria
Upload Instructions

Eligibility

Teams must be part of a registered VEX IQ team for the current season.

  • Only one entry per team is permitted. However, each team in a multi-team school or club program may submit one entry. For example, teams 123A and 123B could each submit an entry, but team 123A could not submit two entries. Entries must vary in content and presentation to be considered separate entries. 
  • Entries submitted in previous years’ Online Challenges are not eligible for submission this year.

Prizes

15 winners: Automatic team qualification for this season's VEX Robotics World Championship

A set of winners will be selected at each of the following programs and grade ranges, for a total of two (2) prize packages:

  • VEX IQ Elementary School
  • VEX IQ Middle School

Challenge Requirements

Rules of the Challenge

How can you use a feature of a plant or animal to solve a problem or help people? Identify a problem that interests you, then brainstorm and research ways nature has adapted to solve similar problems. Use the Engineering design process to imagine or create a prototype solution that incorporates a feature that mimics something about a plant or animal. Organize your project and a summary of your research, and present it all in a video. You can present the information in any way you want, as long as you combine audio and video to share your research project with an audience of your peers.

Things to keep in mind for a successful submission:

  • Involve all of your team members in the project in some way
  • What existing problem can you use biomimicry to help solve? Why did you choose this problem?
  • How many ways can you think of to solve your problem with biomimicry? Do any current solutions exist? Which one did your team choose to develop?
  • Imagine or create a prototype, and describe or show it to us
  • What are the sources you used for your project research? Are they reliable?
Technical Details

A submission must meet these minimum requirements in order to be judged.

  1. Video is created and produced solely by student team members. It is acceptable for adults to help with the technical aspects of creating and submitting a video to YouTube, and adults are encouraged to assist in completing any task that would be difficult or inappropriate for students in their age group.
  2. Format: One link to a video file posted on YouTube, SchoolTube, Youku, or equivalent video-streaming platform. Links to Google Drive, Dropbox, or other storage locations are not acceptable.
  3. Size: Up to 4 minutes, including title, credits, and any other content.
  4. Credits: Each video must include
    • Title of submission
    • Names of students who participated (using first names only is acceptable)
    • Team number 
    • Location of team
  5. Music must be in the public domain.

Judging Criteria

  • Up to 15 points for using a feature or quality of a plant or animal to create a technological solution to an existing problem
  • Up to 15 points for identifying an existing problem and describing why it was chosen
  • Up to 15 points for brainstorming possible solutions, identifying any existing solutions, and selecting a solution
  • Up to 15 points for presenting a sketched, CAD, or physical prototype
  • Up to 15 points for using and identifying a variety of reliable research sources
  • Up to 15 points for good video editing, including the structure and presentation of all material
  • Up to 15 points for music and/or sound that is clear, appropriate, and well-balanced
  • Up to 15 points for a project that is easily understood, clearly presented, creative, and enjoyable to watch

Upload Instructions

  • Click the green Enter Challenge button on the right side of the screen.
  • Fill out the submission form and type a brief description of your challenge entry in the Full Description box.
  • Click Save.
  • Click the blue Links/Videos button in the upper right of the screen.
  • Enter the URL, title, and description of your video.
  • Click Add Link.
  • Click the blue All Entries button to confirm that your submission is visible.
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