STEM Challenges

The MOST organizes four Design, Build & Compete outreach programs and a regional science fair for students in the center of New York State from Canada to the Pennsylvania border. Students who live in the following counties are welcome to register for all the events: Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Jefferson, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga, and Tompkins.

Have event photos? Tag @MOSTSyracuse on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for a chance to be featured on the MOST’s social media accounts!

ChallengeConstruct a miniature working steamboat (or “putt-putt”) boat to challenge specifications
Date & TimeSaturday, October 15, 2022, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: MOST (500 S. Franklin St. Syracuse, NY, 13202)
CostFree
Awards Listed Here
Support Session (Open Help Hours)– Thursday, September 22 (4-6 PM)
– Saturday, October 1 (10 AM -12 PM)

Or by appointment with eventcoordinator@most.org
DivisionJunior: Grades 4-8 and
Senior: Grades 9-12
Team SizeTeams of 1-4
No maximum number of teams per school
Awards– 1st – 4th Place, Junior
– 1st – 4th Place, Senior
– Best Team Name, Junior
– Best Team Name, Senior
– Best Team Spirit  

2022 Award Winners Listed Here

2022 Team Spirit Winners (Tie):
– Students of Paige Edgar, Citizenship Academy
Students of RISE Weekend Academy
MaterialsWe highly encourage the use of recyclable/recycled/up-cycled materials for building the boat (e.g. Styrofoam egg cartons, milk cartons, plastic bottles, etc.).
Rules/SpecificationsBoats must pass an inspection of the following specifications to participate:
– No larger than 6” wide and 8” long
– Must float on the water of 3” depth
– Fueled only by a single standard tealight candle (~1.53” diameter)
How-To ManualSteamboat Boiler Instructions
Scoring/Judging Rubric  Scored on the following metrics for a total of 100 points:
– Fastest Race Time in 2 Heats
– Boat Design
– Team Knowledge of relevant STEM principles
– Aesthetics/Creativity
– Teamwork/Collaboration/Team Spirit    
ChallengeConstruct the most efficient balsawood bridge to challenge specifications
Date & TimeSaturday, November 5, 2022, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: MOST (500 S. Franklin St. Syracuse, NY, 13202)
CostFree
Reg. OpensRegistration Closed
Support Session (Open Help Hours)– Thursday, October 13 (4-6 PM)
– Saturday, October 22 (10 AM -12 PM)

Or by appointment with eventcoordinator@most.org
DivisionJunior: Grades 4-8 and
Senior: Grades 9-12
Team SizeTeams of 1-4
No maximum number of teams per school
Awards– 1st – 4th Place, Junior
– 1st – 4th Place, Senior
– Best Team Name, Junior
– Best Team Name, Senior
– Best Team Spirit 
Materials– Balsawood & Glue Kit (Provided by MOST)

Pick up your Kit at a scheduled support session or by appointment with eventcoordinator@most.org
Rules, Specifications, and Construction ManualBridges must meet the dimensional, testing, and construction specifications listed in the Rules, Specifications, and Construction Manual.
Scoring/Judging Rubric  Teams are ranked by efficiency score (a ratio of how much load the bridge can handle to the bridge’s mass.) The load will be measured in kilograms, while the bridge’s mass will be measured in grams.  
ChallengeConstruct an automated device to complete this year’s challenge: “Combat the effects of climate change”
Date & TimeSaturday, January 28, 2023, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: MOST (500 S. Franklin St. Syracuse, NY, 13202)
CostKits provided to first 40 teams (30 Junior, 10 Senior)
Reg. OpensREGISTRATION HERE
Support Session (Open Help Hours)– Thursday, December 15 (4-6 PM)
– Saturday, January 14 (10 AM -12 PM)

Or by appointment with eventcoordinator@most.org
DivisionJunior: Grades 4-8 and
Senior: Grades 9-12
Team SizeTeams of 4-8 students
3 teams per school maximum
Awards– 1st – 4th Place, Junior
– 1st – 4th Place, Senior
– Best Team Spirit
– “Fan Favorite” Project  
Materials– Minicomputer Kits (Provided by MOST)

Pick up your materials at a scheduled support session or by appointment with eventcoordinator@most.org
Rules/Specifications ManualSpecifications Manual
Scoring/Judging Rubric  Scored on the following metrics for a total of 100 points:
– technical proficiency/efficiency
– design creativity/process
– student comprehension of STEM concepts
ChallengeConduct and present a science fair project to fair specifications
Date & TimeSaturday, April 1 2023 (Check-in Opens at 8:00 AM)
Event Schedule
LocationRecreation Center, Le Moyne College
CostFree
Reg. OpensFebruary 1, 2023 (Registration closes the Sunday prior to the event)
Support Session (Open Help Hours)– Saturday, February 25 (10 AM -12 PM)
– Thursday, March 9 (4-6 PM)

Or by appointment with eventcoordinator@most.org
DivisionJunior: Grades 4-8 and
Senior: Grades 9-12
Team SizeTeams of 1-3
No maximum number of projects per school
AwardsDozens of merit awards, prizes, scholarships, and qualifying status for the International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF)
MaterialsScience Fair Board (Can be provided by MOST upon request)
Participation Rules & GuidelinesParticipation Rules & Guidelines
Scoring/Judging Rubric  Junior Level Rubric Sample
Senior Level Rubric Sample
ChallengeConstruct a model rocket to challenge specifications and predict its apogee
Date & TimeSaturday, June 3, 2023, – Time TBD

Location: TBD
CostFree
Reg. OpensMarch 15, 2023 (Registration closes the Sunday prior to the event or when registration is full, whichever comes first)
Support Session (Open Help Hours)– Thursday, April 27 (4-6 PM)
– Saturday, May 20 (10 AM -12 PM)

Or by appointment with eventcoordinator@most.org
DivisionJunior: Grades 4-8 and
Senior: Grades 9-12
Team SizeTeams of 4-8 students
6 teams per school maximum
Awards– 1st – 4th Place, Junior
– 1st – 4th Place, Senior
– Best Team Name, Junior
– Best Team Name, Senior
– Best Recycled Rocket
– Best Team Spirit
Materials– Model Rocket Kit (Provided by MOST)
– Rocket Motor, Egg, Wadding (Provided at Event)

Pick up your Kit at a scheduled support session or by appointment with eventcoordinator@most.org
Rules/SpecificationsRockets must pass inspection of the following specifications to participate:
– Engine mount secure
– Fins straight
– Rail buttons aligned
– Chute points secure
– Nose cone & payload fit
How-To ManualLink Coming Soon
Scoring/Judging Rubric  Scored on the following metrics for a total of 100 points:
– Team Knowledge of relevant STEM principles
– Rocket Aesthetics/Creativity
– Apogee Calculation Accuracy
– Flight Performance
– Eggstronaut Recovery  

Date: Sunday, June 11, 2023 

Location: Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) – 500 S. Franklin St., Syracuse, NY, 13202 

Registration: Opens March 1 for Students; Finalist Letters & Registration Links will be provided to Fair Directors in January

Questions? Please email eventcoordinator@most.org

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