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Region 4
Information for
Teachers and


Project Purpose: This project provides students with an opportunity to use design-based learning to develop a solution to a known problem. The problem is provided to the students as an RFP (Request for Proposal). This problem has been identified as a result of the pandemic and the need for Internet access to allow students to be connected




Your Role
as a Teacher

Thank you for your willingness to support students through this project.


Facilitate Design Thinking: Your role in this problem is a facilitator. This includes teaching and connecting students to design thinking in order to solve the problem. The problem presented is real in almost all cities and communities in the entire Region 4 Education Service Center (Region 4) area and will produce myriad solutions. By helping your students complete the required work to identify the possible solutions, you will be able to help them be involved in many academic disciplines.

Encourage Creativity: While working with students, encourage them to think outside the conventional box using their creativity. Encourage them to use solutions that are outside of normal but are still within reality. Ask questions; don’t provide answers. Your goal is knowing this a student project and that you are only providing support.

Make Connections: A potential part of this project is creating community and business partnerships. As a facilitator, you can help students reach out to industry leaders and establish these partnerships for mentoring and guidance. Ideal companies are T-Mobile, AT&T, SpaceX, Johnson Space Center, and other local infrastructure providers.

Research: Start by researching potential solutions! Guide students through locating credible and real-world resources for their research. As the guide on the side, help your students reach beyond their bubble to see what other students in other communities are experiencing. Encourage empathetic responses to problems that may not be their own.

  • While researching, help students identify challenges to solving a problem and means by which they can identify those challenges.
  • Writing these challenges out will assist the students in developing their proposal, which will be presented to your judging committee. The primary goal of the written portion of the project is to help students put down on paper the identified challenges to enable them to solve those challenges.
  • Help students understand the connection between writing and literacy by partnering with an RLA teacher.

Share Your Innovation—Designing and Displaying Solution: In order to create a visual design platform, help your students explore free design resources online such as Tinkercad®, Google® Draw, and other free web-based applications. They can even use hand drawings if they choose to. The goal is to provide students with maximum freedom and opportunity. 

Each district will have the opportunity to submit entries to the regional contest. You should leave enough time in your schedule to allow projects chosen to move on to be improved. There will be a higher level of competition at the regional level that students will want to prepare for. 

If you have a large number of district entries, you can use the rubric to identify your best in class prior to identifying the projects to go on to the regional contest. 

Regional Design Competition
In the regional design contest, students in grades 9 to 12 from all over Region 4 will compete. The competition will be held at Region 4’s McKinney Conference Center and will include an expert panel from a variety of industries and business partners. The goal is to have the students present their projects to a board of experts. For their presentations, students should have the following:

  • A 3–5 minute presentation that will include a PowerPoint®, Google® slides, or other form of digital presentation that will engage the audience and demonstrate their proposed solution to the problem set.
  • Some type of physical model showing the student teams’ proposed solution. This can be a 3–D printed model or some other scale model that the judges can physically touch and feel. 
  • The presentation can include 3–D graphics as part of the presentation, but the 3–D graphics do not replace the physical requirement of a model.
  • research paper explaining the project. Students should provide this to the judges at the time of the presentation.
  • The presentation should include all members of the team so everyone has an opportunity to display their knowledge of the subject.
  • If the team collaborated with a business or industry partner, we welcome them to bring the partner along.
  • The teams or individual competitors should be prepared to answer any questions the judges may have.
  • Team sponsors should plan to be in attendance with their team at Region 4.
  • If ‌a team is selected to compete at the regional level but cannot be present on site, they will be able to present through a virtual video link.



Main Office
Region 4 Education Service Center
7145 West Tidwell Road Houston, Texas 77092-2096
713.462.7708 | PHONE
Region 4 is making improvements to the McKinney Conference Center and will invite guests to experience the difference in September of 2024.
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