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Region 4 Design Challenge Logistics




Region 4 Design Challenge | Logistics


The Region 4 Design Challenge will provide students the opportunity to use design-based thinking with a project-based approach to create a solution to an identified local and/or national problem. In this challenge, participants will imagine the city of Houston has come to their design firm asking them to submit a proposal for designing and installing an Internet connectivity center placed in strategic neighborhoods. These will be community-based technology and information hubs located where community members and stakeholders gather for access to resources not available in their homes. This can include Internet connectivity and other services in a community-based location (think entrance to a neighborhood).




Many school districts have used funding to distribute laptops, Chromebooks®, tablets, and iPads®. Unfortunately, there are still many households in Houston and the surrounding area that do not have the required resources within their home to access these resources, such as Internet access. The Internet has become a requirement for most students to be fully engaged in the educational system. For many students without access to the information, the computer is useless.



The Region 4 Design Challenge is for students to design a community-based technology hub and access center that will allow students and community members to connect to the Internet using personal or school-supplied devices.



  • Individuals or Teams of 2–5
  • Research Report: (1–3-page written research report identifying their problem)
  • Proposed Budget
  • Acceptable Artifacts


Competition Phases

District: The first phase will be judged by the local LEA in their own district

Regional: The Region 4 Design Challenge Committee will choose qualifying final projects who will then be invited to present at Region 4. If a team cannot attend the “pitch” in person, they will be allowed to present virtually.



  • Audience
    • You are working on a community-based technology project that will include all members of the community. Consider creating partnerships with your stakeholders to help enhance your community buy-in.
    • Consider who makes up a community, identify your community stakeholders, and design your center toward who they are and how they would use the center
  • Prior research cases
    • Is this something new or is this something already in place? Have other cities implemented these types of solutions? Are the solutions addressing the problem of Internet connectivity? Consider using a design process to address your problem and solution.
  • Consider the consultation of technology companies (mentorship) to help develop your proposal. It is okay to set up working relationships.
    • What will the connectivity center require in the way of utilities?
  • All projects have constraints.
    • You can use recycled materials to maximize your materials budget. All individuals/teams must present a budget and financial statement to support their project.
  • Partnerships are encouraged, but all work must be from the students.
  • Group vs. Individuals
    • We encourage groups to participate. Groups should contain no more than five people.
  • Partnerships
    • Partnerships can include local libraries, school officials, design and consulting companies, or community groups that can help students understand the problem. Who can be considered a partner? Think about companies that are already providing these services, such as Xfinity®, T-Mobile®, Verizon®, etc.



  • 5-minute setup time
  • 5 to 10 minutes to present
  • 5 minutes for Q&A


Acceptable Products

  • Presenting your best work is vital as the committee judges your submission based on the rubric. Therefore, be mindful of your spelling and grammar in order to score highest in every category.
  • In their search for the best project, judges take the following factors into account.
    • Research supporting your proposal may include a 1–3-page written research report supporting your proposal through surveys and research. Support your project through convincing words that will move the judges to say, “this is the one.” “Sell” them on your team’s project.
    • The proposed Budget should be based on research to the best of your ability. This budget should include potential labor rates, work hours, and a bill of materials (BOM) that describes the materials to be used to build the connectivity center.
    • Acceptable Artifacts include visuals that will help the judges determine the best aesthetic design. Keep in mind that you will be presenting a product that may be used as a prototype. The following items would be acceptable:
      • Digital media in the form of graphics and video
      • Drawings
      • Websites
      • Physical models
      • Blueprint-design binders
      • Virtual environments
      • Animations and simulations (e.g., SketchUp®, Tinkercad®, Minecraft®, 3-D animations)
      • 3-D printed models
      • Poster boards
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