Maryland Engineering Challenges

Thank you to all the students, teachers, and volunteers who made the 2021 Maryland Engineering Challenges a success. Check back here this summer for updates on the 2022 competition season.

In recognition of the uncertainties resulting from COVID-19, this year’s Maryland Engineering Challenge competitions will be held virtually. Competition rules and project requirements are also being adjusted to enable and encourage safe participation for students.

Check out our information sheet with suggestions on how to participate in a Challenge during a pandemic. Curious how to begin? Follow these steps!

The mission of the Maryland Engineering Challenges is to introduce students in grades 1 to 12 to the role of engineers in today’s society and connect what students learn in school with real-world engineering concepts.

Participating in the Challenges helps students develop comprehension and problem-solving skills; encourages teamwork and self-confidence; and can promote meaningful mentor relationships with engineering professionals.

In addition to developing students’ STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math), each Challenge also integrates reading, writing, and public speaking with hands-on, project-based learning.

Still have questions? Contact Education Manager Jessica Celmer and sign up for our emails.

Important Information

Each team must have an adult Coach register them online before written reports are handed in. Click here to register a team.

Each Coach must pay a $5 fee. One fee covers all teams with that Coach. Click here to pay your Coach’s Fee online.

Please read Challenge Guides carefully, as rules or specs may change from year to year. Additional participation suggestions may be found in the Information Sheet at the top of the page.


Coaches’ Information Session

This “drop-in” virtual event hosted on Zoom is designed for adults interested in coaching a team to chat with engineers. Find out if a particular Challenge is a good fit for your student(s). The Coaches’ Information Session is not required and there is no cost. Attendance is strongly encouraged. Contact Jessica at

WHEN Wednesday, October 21, 2020 from 6:00–8:00PM



Robot Coaches’ Hands-on Workshop

Learn the practical aspects of the Robot Challenge in this virtual workshop hosted on Zoom. Work with engineers to explore design and construction aspects of this project. Especially helpful for first-time Coaches and/or those with little engineering experience.Free; registration required:

WHEN  January 23, 2021 from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM


Elementary School Level

Elementary School Information Sheet

Paper Airplane — Grades 1 to 5
Date: May 8, 2021
Design a paper airplane to safely fly a paperclip “passenger” as far and accurately as possible.
2021 Paper Airplane Guide

Safe Racer — Grades 2 and 3
Date: May 15, 2021
2021 Safe Racer Awards
2021 Safe Racer Competition Information
2021 Safe Racer Oral Presentation Schedule
Build a safe and speedy car to allow the “driver,” Eggbert[a], to survive a crash test and distance trial.
2021 Safe Racer Guide
2021 Safe Racer FAQs

Middle School Level

Middle School Information Sheet

Future City — Grades 6, 7 and 8
Date: February 13, 2021
Design a city of the future using SimCity software and create a model of one area.
Contact James Brown at for details.
For more information go to:
2021 Future City Information Sheet 

Robot — Grades 6 to 8
Date: April 25, 2021 Rescheduled to May, 23, 2021
New Report Due Date: May 14, 2021
Robot Total Team Scores
2021 Robot Competition Information
2021 Robot Team Start Times
Construct a two or four leg robot to walk under direction over uneven terrain.
2021 Robot Guide

Hovercraft — Grades 6 to 8
Date: April 24, 2021
Build the fastest hovercraft to travel across the “Chesapeake Bay.”
2021 Hovercraft Guide

Straw Bridge — Grades 6 to 8
Date: April 17, 2021
Straw Bridge Competition Information
Construct a paper straw bridge to support a specific weight for one minute.
2021 Straw Bridge Guide
2021 Straw Bridge Design Specifications
Straw Bridge Report Guide

High School Level

High School Information Sheet

Wood Bridge — Grades 9 to 12
Date: January 30, 2021
Wood Bridge Competition Information

Design a structurally efficient bridge to hold the maximum load before breaking.
Contact Michael Newman at for details.
2021 Wood Bridge Information Sheet
2021 Wood Bridge Rules

Robot — Grades 9 to 12
DDate: April 25, 2021 Rescheduled to May, 23, 2021
New Report Due Date: May 14, 2021
Robot Total Team Scores
2021 Robot Competition Information
2021 Robot Team Start Times
Construct a two or four leg robot to walk under direction over uneven terrain.
2021 Robot Guide

Cargo Ship — Grades 9 to 12
Date: April 24, 2021
Cargo Ship Competition Information
Design and demonstrate a ship to carry containerized cargo over a water course.
2021 Cargo Ship Guide

Sponsored by:
BD Diagnostics | BGE-an Exelon Company | The Engineering Society of Baltimore | KELVIN | Northrop Grumman | W.R. Grace 
Michael Hinkey and Kathryn Benson | The Propeller Club of Baltimore | NAVSEA at Carderock

Supported by:
Technology & Engineering Educators Association of Maryland


Additional STEM Opportunities & Resources:

Maryland Science Olympiad

Bmore STEM

Morgan State University Science-Mathematics-Engineering Fair

The Maryland Quality Initiative

National Academy of Engineering—EngineerGirl Program

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