Cody Howard
School of Engineering

Students invited to KU Engineering High School Design Competition

Thu, 10/05/2023

LAWRENCE — High school students, start your engines! The future of engineering is revving to race as the University of Kansas School of Engineering hosts its annual STEM competition — High School Design: Race to Innovate — set to take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 25.

HSD Race to Innovate logoThe deadline to register for individuals or teams has been extended to Oct. 17. Winning teams across the six disciplines will be awarded scholarships to pursue their degrees as Jayhawks.

The High School Design Engineering Competition is a cornerstone of KU’s commitment to promoting science, technology, engineering and math education and nurturing the next generation of engineers, inventors and innovators.

While the competition is for high school students, it is also an opportunity to learn about high-stakes, large-scale project management for undergraduate students in the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows (SELF) Program. These fellows plan and execute this student-led recruitment event, spending months collaborating with industry professionals and consulting with top academics to launch an inspiring introduction to the real world of engineering.

Participants will be tasked with tackling real-world engineering challenges related to speed and innovation. Beyond engineering, competitions incorporate tasks related to geometry, mathematics, physics, entrepreneurship, design, budget, project management and presentation skills. The computer science challenge also includes an onsite hack-a-thon.

Highlights include:

  • Teams will showcase their engineering solutions, which address pressing medical, industrial and environmental concerns ranging from efficient dialysis solutions to heat transfer technology developments.
  • A panel of industry experts will evaluate the projects, providing valuable feedback and insights.
  • Students, educators, parents and college advisers are welcome to meet with industry sponsors, current KU faculty and SELF Fellows to learn more about the engineering field.

SELF Program Director Corey Behrens said the event offers a great chance to learn more about the field of engineering.

“High School Design is an incredible opportunity for prospective engineers seeking to solve real-world problems,” Behrens said. “I’m so proud of the SELF Fellows and thankful for all the industry partners lending their support for the future leaders of industry and technology.”

The competition is made possible through the support of sponsors including Microsoft, ScriptPro, Burns & McDonnell, HNTB, Garmin and Argus Consulting.

For more information, please visit the competition website or contact Education Program Coordinator Stephanie Ruppen at or 785-864-7683.

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