2017 About....

The National Youth Engineering Challenge is the premier event that allows talented youth from around the country to assemble together to showcase their knowledge and skills in a variety of individual and team-based engineering contests and activities. While this event has become increasingly focused on engineering, traditional events such as tractor operation have been retained and continue to play a big part in the challenge. By incorporating new technologies, such as GPS, the tractor operation event will begin to take on more of an engineering focus over time.

The National Youth Engineering Challenge currently consists of the following challenge areas:

The Engineering Challenge is held over a three day period each fall in West Lafayette, Indiana, with Purdue University being host to the event.

Day one consists of contestants arriving at the registration/check-in location in the early afternoon. After a short general orientation session for youth, coaches, parents and judges, the coordinators for the robotics and computer (software engineering) areas will provide contest-specific orientations for those youth participating is these contest areas. After the orientation, participants in these areas will begin working on their designated challenges. An orientation will be provided to remaining particpants from the other challenge areas. After the orientation period, these participants, along with the adults in attendance, will have the opportunity to design "mousetrap-powered" race cars that will compete against one another a little later in the day. Late in the aftenoon, contestants, parents, judges, coaches, and volunteers are treated to a cookout prepared on the grounds. At the conclusion of the meal, participants will continue working or the tasks which they began earlier in the day.

Day two begins (after a good breakfast at the hotel) with contestants participating in written exams with most skill events beginning shortly thereafter. The majority of the events continue until noon with everyone then having the opportunity to seek out a lunch spot of their choosing. Immediately following lunch, everyone will be boarding busses to travel to the Purdue University campus where everyone will be treated to a campus tour. After the campus tour, contest youth will divide into groups and participate in hands-on educational programs related to engineering at several locations on campus.

Late afternoon, everyone boards busses on campus to return to the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds, where our excellent chef has prepared another great meal for everyone to enjoy together. At the completion of the evening meal, everyone gathers together to watch the contestants' knowledge be tested during the initial rounds of the Engineering Bowl. At the mid-way point of the Engineering Bowl, everyone takes a little break and migrates to the Robotics venue where contestants operate the robots that they have designed to perform a specific task announced just the evening before. After the hands-on portion of the Robotics competition, it's back the Engineering Bowl to establish the two teams who will battle as finalists the next evening. The night finishes up back at the Robotics venue, where teams have programmed their robots to perform a task with no human control involved.

Day three begins with another good breakfast at the hotel. This is the day reserved for industry tours. In keeping with the engineering theme, tours of industry are provided where the youth are able to see in practice various engineering principles as they relate to design, manufacturing, or other types of production of goods and services. Busses leave the hotel following breakfast, with one bus going to one facility and the second bus going to the another. After the morning installment of tours, busses typically drop everyone off at the Tippecanoe Mall for lunch. After lunch, the tours are repeated except the busses switch destinations, so everyone has an opportunity to tour a different facility in the afternoon. Busses return the hotel after the tours so everyone can get ready for an exciting evening.

At supper time, everyone finds their way to the Trails Banquet Facility for an excellent sit-down dining experience. After enjoying a very satisfying meal, it's time to recognize all of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of the individual and team events in the different challenge areas and engineering bowl through the presentation of plaques and ribbons.

If we have caused new friendships to be formed... or if we have motivated youth toward having an greater interest in the field of engineering, or if we have encouraged the youth just to be the best they can be, then we feel we have been successful in our goals.