Skip Navigation LinksPDE > K-12 > STEM > Regional Qualifying Competitions

STEM Photo Collage
​Regional Qualifying Competitions


Regional qualifying competitions will be held at each of the Commonwealth’s Intermediate Units (IU) at a date and time identified by each IU. Locate your regional IU and the date of their competition.

The one-day regional qualifying competition will be comprised of three phases, and each phase will be evaluated by a panel of judges determined by each IU (see the rubric for more information details). The three phases are as follows:

  • Phase 1 - Device/Project Documentation: 1,000 word document submitted prior to the regional qualifying competition
  • Phase 2 - Device/Project Presentation: 20 minute presentation during the regional qualifying competition
  • Phase 3 - Project in a Box: 30 minute activity designed to demonstrate the cohesive nature of the team to be completed during the regional qualifying competition


Rules for PHASE 1: Device/Project Documentation

  • Research and identify a real-world challenge facing Pennsylvanians.
  • Design/create a new and innovative device to solve this problem using a stipend of $500. Proof of purchase for all components used in the creation of the device is required.
  • Document the journey throughout the duration of this project and submit this documentation to the regional IU prior to competition. 
  • Project documentation will be evaluated based on the criteria outlined in the rubric.

Rules for PHASE 2: Device/Project Presentation

  • Demonstrate device to a panel of judges.
  • Articulate the purpose of the device to address a local community need and how it benefits Pennsylvanians.
  • Document and communicate the Engineering Design Process.
  • Showcase craftsmanship and creativity of the device.
  • Explain scalability of the device for mass production (including calculations).
  • Articulate a plan for spending an additional $750 to improve the device if chosen as a finalist. 
  • Use visual/media graphics throughout the presentation.
  • Oral communication skills include organization of content, fluency, and confidence.

Rules for PHASE 3: Project in a Box – 

  • Demonstrate the cohesive nature of the team.
  • Showcase the 4 C’s (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking).

Regional Rubric

IU Points of Contact


Regional Awards 

Awards will be presented to all participating teams at the conclusion of the regional qualifying competitions. First place, second place, and third place teams will receive additional recognition. The first place team will move on to the state competition in May.

Statewide Awards

  • Prior to the competition, regional winners from each intermediate unit will be recognized. 
  • At the completion of the competition, Grand Champion, First Runner Up, and Second Runner Up teams will be recognized and a college scholarship* will be offered. The values of the scholarships are as follows:
    • Each member of the state competition’s Grand Champion team will receive a $2,000 college scholarship.
    • Each member of the state competition’s First Runner Up team will receive a $1,000 college scholarship.
    • Each member of the state competition’s Second Runner Up team will receive a $500 college scholarship.
*Scholarship recipients will be provided with a letter detailing information on how they will receive thee funds.