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PSU High School Innovation Challenge

Registration now open for Innovation Challenge 2015!

This program is open to all high schools in the city of Portland. Get the details here

The deadline for high school registration is November 14, 2014. Register your team. 

Required additional forms:

College scholarships. Students who participate in the PSU High School Innovation Challenge are eligible to receive a one-time $1,000 scholarship to attend the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at PSU. Learn more

We are very excited about high school students. They tend to be uninhibitedly imaginative and strongly inclined to help people. They are also at an ideal age to challenge the world and imagine how things could be different. The PSU Innovation Challenge Competition is designed to excite both their creativity and goodwill.

This challenge is uniquely student-driven.  High school teams are paired with two or more PSU student mentors – at least one from the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science and one from PSU’s pre-health program.  Mentors help the students conduct fieldwork for idea discovery, identify a problem that can be solved through design, and then refine their solution by applying the engineering design process.  Teams present their final projects at a final event before a panel of judges.

This year, eight high school student teams were invited to identify a specific way in which older people can better manage their daily lives. The competition’s theme was “Technology for Aging Generations.” The teams represent a diverse student population from Portland public and alternative high schools:

  • Alliance Making Way for Clearer Sounda redesigned hearing aid that filters out ambient noise and utilizes vibrations to improve life for the hard-of-hearing.

  • Benson - The Medibox, an all-in-one health diagnostics and monitoring system that offers minimal interference to an elder's daily routine. * Winner of the "Best Team Venture" award

  • Franklin - Tech for Arthritis, a computer redesigned that features an arthritis-friendly keyboard, trackpad, voice commands and volunteer tech support to help the elderly stay connected. * Winner of the "Most Creative" and "Greatest Human Impact" awards
  • Grant - The Smart Clock, an elder-friendly timepiece that keeps an older person, their families, and their medications in sync.

  • Jefferson - LifeBrace: The Advanced Health Tracking Wristband, a wearable device that monitors the well-being of the elderly and the infirmed but also younger people with dangerous jobs.

  • Lincoln - RotoStorage Shelf Storage System, an elegant and ergonomic approach to helping the elderly reduce physical strain and injury by improving their living environment.
  • Metropolitan Learning Center - Building a Better Computer for the Aging Generation, a completely reimagined user interface, operating system and peripherals for populations that find typical computing platforms less than intuitive. * Winner of the "Strongest Concept" award

  • Portland Youth Builders - The Status Device, a discrete tracking system to help elders with dementia stay safe and give their family members peace of mind. * Winner of the "Audience Favorite" award

The recipient of the Audience Favorite award was determined using a ballot developed by Engineering and Technology Management faculty and PhD students. At the end of the competition ballots were collected and results were tabulated using an algorithm that equitably ranks all projectsregardless of the size of the audience when they presented. This means teams were not be penalized if they are observed by fewer people - yet another example of using engineering and design to develop a creative solution. See the Innovation Challenge Audience Favorite Voting Ticket.

Congratulations to all who participated. The students turned the College into a stage for bright minds, thoughtful ideas and inspiration for the audience. 


Many thanks to our 2014 PSU Innovation Challenge Sponsors!