Bringing Work-Based Learning to More Iowa Classrooms

What is the minimum and maximum student team size?
Teams must be comprised of at least two students, but can be larger with no maximum limit.
Can a superintendent or principal submit a letter of intent to participate, or must the applicant be a teacher?
Yes, a superintendent, principal or other school official is welcome to apply for their teacher(s) to participate.
Are elementary students, especially K-3, really expected to write a 400-word essay?

The goal is for essays to be thoughtful, detailed and complete, but there is no penalty for less than 400 words.

For the K-8 homes, what do you mean by similar toy construction materials?

Plastic toy brick construction materials like Mega Brands and Sluban are some examples.

For the 9-12 design project, how many school and community partners or individuals who would be impacted need to be interviewed?

Depending on the nature of the design project, students will want to interview at least one person (in person, by phone, video conference, email, etc.) who would be impacted by their project and who may need to approve the project were it to move forward beyond the design stage. Ideally, several people will be interviewed.

Is it OK to submit projects and related materials before the April 1, 2023, deadline?

Yes, projects may be submitted any time between Sept. 29, 2023, and April, 1, 2024.

Is it OK to send extra attachments, such as a detailed one-page cost analysis, in addition to the essay?

Up to three artifacts are permitted in addition to the essay, so the one-page cost analysis would count as one of those three.

Can prize money be used to make my 9-12 students’ project a reality?

Prize money can be used for school work-based learning activities, such as buying more building materials for K-8 students or actually funding the 9-12 project design to make it a reality.

Are there size limitations for the projects created?

No.  For the HS challenge, the students only have to design the structure, not actually build it. So, no size limitations there.  And for the K-5 and 6-8 challenges, there are no size limitations to their constructions.

Are they allowed to use any material? (cardboard/popsicle sticks/yarn/other craft items like that)


Is there anything specific this design should include?

Your best resource will be to review the full project description as well as the scoring rubric for your particular grade range. 

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