2020 Challenges

Which challenge will your team take on this year?

You can watch a video preview of each of the challenges here.

Click the challenge graphic for more information about that challenge!

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TECHNICAL

The Technical Challenge prompts students to complete tasks by using engineering, research, strategic planning and related skills.

POINTS OF INTEREST
  • Design and build an invention.

  • Create and present a story about how a problem is solved with the use of the invention.

  • Integrate an invention artifact to highlight the development process.

  • Design and build scenery that shows the impact of solving the problem.

  • Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas 
of strength, and talents.

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SCIENTIFIC

Our Scientific Challenge blends the curiosity of scientific research with the creative expression of performance art.

POINTS OF INTEREST
  • Research a real species and a real habitat.
  • Create and present a story about the first encounter between the species and the habitat.
  • Show how the species and the habitat change as a result of the encounter.
  • Present the story in theater in the round.
  • Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.

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FINE ARTS

Our Fine Arts Challenge has students flex their acting and creative muscles as they experiment with different types of artistic media and theater arts, write scripts and design props. 

POINTS OF INTEREST
  • Create and present a story that features an unseen character and its impact on a team-selected photograph.

  • Theatrically recreate the photograph during the Presentation.

  • Create and present a visual effect that includes a photographic technique.

  • Show how the visual effect changes the perspective of one or more characters.

  • Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.

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IMPROVISATIONAL

Our Improvisational Challenge is all about spontaneity and storytelling. Teams receive topics and produce skits right on the spot.

POINTS OF INTEREST
  • Research superpowers and how they are portrayed in comic books, literature, film, and other media.

  • Create and present an improvisational skit about a villain who uses a superpower to cause an unexpected situation.

  • Include a hero who uses an underwhelming power to try to overcome the unexpected situation.

  • Enhance the skit with sound effects.

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ENGINEERING

Our Engineering Challenge asks students to design, build, and test load-bearing structures created from specific materials.

POINTS OF INTEREST
  • Design and build a bridge that will be assembled during the Presentation.
  • Move weight across the bridge to test its strength.
  • Create and present a story about an unexpected connection and its outcome.
  • Design and create a set piece that transitions between settings.
  • Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off your team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.
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SERVICE LEARNING / PROJECT OUTREACH

Our Service Learning Challenge is designed to engage students in public service to address real-life community issues.

POINTS OF INTEREST
  • Identify, design, carry out, and evaluate a project that addresses a need in a real community.
  • Create and present a story that shows at least one character in a race against time.
  • Integrate information about the project into the story.
  • Design and build a device that represents time and highlights milestones from the project.
  • Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off your team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.
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EARLY LEARNING / RISING STARS!®

Our Rising Stars! for Early Learners Challenge offers simple experiences with the creative process, and it gives young kids (preschool through 2nd grade) a place to work together and make new friends.

POINTS OF INTEREST
  • Create and present a play about characters who travel from one planet to another.
  • Include something surprising that happens during the trip.
  • Design and create a puppet to use in the play.
  • Launch team-created rockets during the play.
  • Create costumes, props, and scenery to help tell the story.
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INSTANT CHALLENGE

Instant Challenges require teams to engage in quick, creative and critical thinking.

In a world with growing cultural connections, increased levels and types of communication, and a new need for real-time teamwork and problem solving, the ability to solve problems quickly is becoming increasingly critical.At a tournament, a team will receive an Instant Challenge and the materials with which to solve it. The team members must think on their feet by applying appropriate skills to produce a solution in a period of just five to eight minutes.Instant Challenges are performance-based, task-based, or a combination of the two. Although each Instant Challenge has different requirements, all Instant Challenges reward teams for their teamwork. Instant Challenges are kept confidential through the day of the tournament.

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