STEM Research Challenge - Middle School
The Science of Water Conservation
According to experts, water is ranked second only to oxygen as essential for life, and is used in every cell of your body. The statistics on water usage and availability highlight the challenges and needs of our world's growing population:
According to the USGS, each American uses an average of 82 gallons of water a day at
Roughly half of the world's population experiences severe water scarcity for at least part of the year
About 70 percent, on average, of fresh water is used for agriculture
The numbers of flood-related disasters and droughts have increased greatly over the past two decades
How can you use science to engineer a new solution to conserve or manage water within your community?
|Elementary School||Middle School||High School||College / University||No Grade Level Restrictions|
|VEX IQ Robotics Competition||VEX Robotics Competition|
One (1) Winner: $500 VEX Robotics gift certificate; if the winning entry is from a VIQRC or VRC team that has competed in their program with a physical robot during their competition season, they will also receive an automatic qualification to the 2024 VEX World Championships
Four (4) Finalists: $100 VEX Robotics gift certificate
Finalists and winners will be selected at each of the following grade levels, for a total of two (2) prize packages:
Teams must be part of a registered VEX Robotics team for the current season.
This page is for Middle School entries only - if you are any other program or grade level, please refer to the Online Challenge listings to find the correct page for your program and grade level.
Only one entry per team is permitted. However, each team in a multi-team school or club program may submit one entry. For example, teams 123A and 123B could each submit an entry, but team 123A could not submit two entries. Entries must vary in content and presentation to be considered separate entries.
Entries submitted in previous years’ Online Challenges are not eligible for submission this year.
By uploading a submission to an REC Foundation Online Challenge, you agree to follow the Submission Guidelines and certify that you understand the Intellectual Property Rights held by you and the REC Foundation regarding your submission. Please review the Submission Guidelines and Intellectual Property Rights information at this link before uploading your submission.
How can you solve a water-related problem in your community? Identify a problem that interests you, then research existing ways to solve the problem and brainstorm new ones. Use the engineering design process to imagine or create a prototype solution and present it in your video. Organize your project, summarize your research, and present it all in a video. You can present the information in any way you want within your video submission, and we encourage you to be creative!
Things to keep in mind for a successful submission:
A submission must meet these minimum requirements in order to be judged.
Note: Beginning with the 2023-24 season, challenge entries must be uploaded by the primary contact for a registered team. This individual should ensure that the submission meets all requirements and criteria before uploading.
Up to 5 points for identifying a problem within the challenge theme, and describing why it was chosen.
Up to 5 points for presenting existing solutions and new possible solutions, and describing the solution chosen by the team.
Up to 5 points for using and identifying reliable research sources used in the project.
Up to 5 points for presenting a prototype of the solution.
Up to 5 points for a video that is well-edited, structured, and presented with clear, appropriate and well-balanced sound
- Up to 5 points for a video that is easy to understand, clearly presented, creative, and enjoyable to watch