Innovative Solutions Challenge Information


  • Students
    • Must be a current high school student
    • Must have completed or are currently enrolled in a PLTW Course
    • Must be from the PLTW South Central Missouri Districts
      • Counties of: Phelps, Dent, Shannon, Oregon, Maries, Pulaski, Texas, Howell, Franklin, Crawford, Washington, Iron, Reynolds, St. Francois, St. Genevieve, Perry, Madison, Wayne, Carter, Ripley, Butler, Ste. Genevieve, Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Scott, Stoddard, Mississippi, New Madrid, Dunklin, Pemiscot, Vernon, Barton, Jasper, Newton, McDonald, Cedar, Dade, Lawrence, Barry, Polk, Greene, Christian, Stone, Taney, Dallas, Webster, Douglas, Ozark, Laclede, Wright, Howard, Cooper, Morgan, Camden, Boone, Moniteau, Miller, Cole, Audrain, Callaway, Osage, Gasconade, Montgomery, Warren, and Lincoln
  • Mentors
    • Teachers, mentors, parents or other students may assist the team with accomplishing their goals
    • Goal of the mentor is push the team towards a vision of the teams own design, however the mentor may provide feedback to a  prompt or a problem for the students to solve using innovative solutions
    • The mentor may provide guidance on how to approach any challenges that are encountered.
    • Students must clearly identify the role of any and all outside assistance that is provided along with their abstract.
  • Teams
    • 1-3 Members
      • Team members are not allowed to be on more than one team
      • Schools are only allowed to have 1 team per discipline
        • (3 teams maximum: Biomedical, Engineering, and Computer Science)
  • Problem
    • Must identify a pressing problem related to the targeted discipline
    • Must be clearly identified
    • Must be specific
  • Solution
    • Must present a novel solution that either “solves” or “mitigates” the problem identified
    • Students must come up with an innovative solution on their own without direct guidance
    • Solution must be feasible 
      • And include information concerning
        • How would the project be implemented?
        • Estimated cost analysis.
        • Expected stakeholders in the project
          • Who is the target of this solution or product?
          • Who else would be interested in seeing the solution implemented?
  • Abstract and Materia
    • The abstract must include a description of the identified problem and the presented solution
    • The abstract must also be 250 words or less
    • The abstract may have any drawings/prototypes with descriptions included with it to clarify the solution
    • Students must clearly identify the role of any and all outside assistance that is provided along with their abstract.
    • All first level judging will be based on the abstract and provided drawings/prototypes
  • Formatting
    • Any sources used must be cited, direct plagiarism will not be tolerated
    • APA format must be used for all citations
    • There must not be any use of Al tools, such as ChatGPT or any other generative artificial intelligence, to write their abstract.
  • Deadlines
    • All registrations must be submitted before March 8th
    • All abstracts and drawings/prototypes must be submitted by March 15th
    • All Finalists will be chosen by March 22nd 
    • Showcases and Presentations will be April 9th at Missouri S&T
  • Selection
    • Finalist teams will be selected from all submissions for each respective disciplinary category
  • Presentation
    • These finalists will present their problem and novel solution to a select group of distinguished judges following their showcase.
    • Presentation must include a visual of the solution.
      • This may be accomplished by providing a prototype, multimedia presentation, models or presentation boards.
    • All participants must be part of the presentation to win.
    • Problem and solution details will be presented.
    • Presentation time:
      • 5 minute setup time
      • 10 minute presentation time including multimedia
      • 5 minute question and answer time with the judges.
  • Showcase
    • All finalists must attend the showcase in order to compete for the prizes. 
    • You do not need to be a finalist to attend the showcase with your project.
      • Students are encouraged to showcase their work, even if they are not a finalist…Showcases will inspire younger students, university and special guests.
      • Showcase will be for all PLTW students (Launch, Gateway, Biomedical, Computer Science, and Engineering) 
        • Finalists will be decided prior to the showcase.  
        • Presentations will follow the showcase on April 9.
    • Inability to attend the showcase  and presentation is a considered a forfeiture 
  • The Prize 
    • Prizes will be awarded based on abstracts, solution, showcase and presentations
    • $1200 will be awarded for each winning team for each discipline
      • Groups of 2 or 3 the prize will be split evenly.
    • There will be alternative awards presented to groups who match specific other criteria