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Register for the 2019 Minnesota 4-H Engineering Design Challenge!

Youth at 2018 Engineering Design Challenge

The 2019 Minnesota 4-H Engineering Design Challenge is here! This year’s theme, Help a Superhero Save the Planet, is sure to be a fun and challenging opportunity for youth to apply engineering design practices, develop their teamwork and communications skills, and practice problem solving in a creative way.

The 4-H Engineering Design Challenge is based on creating a Rube Goldberg™ based machine. A Rube Goldberg machine is an overly complex contraption that aims to complete a simple task through a series of chain-reaction steps.  

New for the 2019 Challenge

There are two task options for teams to solve using their created machines:

  • Remove pollution from water and place that pollution in an appropriate container, OR
  • Identify an environmental issue or challenge that currently threatens life on the planet earth. As part of your Engineering Design Challenge machine, create a two-step task that works to solve the issue or challenge.

The challenge offers youth a choice of a Level 1 or a Level 2 experience. Level 1 is designed for youth in grades 3 - 8 and machine creation focuses on mechanical engineering (simple machines). Get some ideas for Level 1 activities

Level 2 has been designed for youth in grades 7 - 12 and focuses on four categories of engineering: mechanical, chemical, electrical and fluid power.

In 2019, we will be hosting our second annual 4-H Engineering Design Challenge State Showcase for all Level 1 and Level 2 teams across Minnesota. In 2018, over 200 youth attended this event! The state showcase will take place on Monday, Aug. 5 at St. Cloud State University. The 2019 Minnesota State Fair will be a showcasing only opportunity for the Engineering Design Challenge team machines.


We will be hosting two webinars for volunteer coaches and teams to learn more about this year’s challenge. Please join us!

  • Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. – We will discuss registration, challenge task specifics, and answer questions.
  • Monday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. – We will discuss STEM concepts, learning approaches, resources and answer questions.

Team registration

Pre-registration is due Wednesday, May 15. Pre-registration is due prior to registering for the State Showcase Event. The State Showcase Event registration deadline is Friday, June 7.

All the updated information for the challenge including the updated handbooks, team registration links, learning resources, and more can be found on the Minnesota 4-H Engineering Design Challenge website.

We are looking forward to another successful season of the Minnesota 4-H Engineering Design Challenge! For registration questions contact Amber Greeley ( For all other questions, contact Michael Compton ( at the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development.

Learn more and register.


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