Panasonic Creative Design Challenge

Creative Design Challenge

Empowering a new generation of innovators

Empowering a new generation of innovators

Creative Design Challenge

Each year teams of innovative young thinkers battle it out at the Panasonic Creative Design Challenge to see who can create the best robotic device for a chance to win scholarships for college. It’s a great way to learn, grow and have fun.

A challenge that brings out the best in students

Where will tomorrow’s innovators come from? What will ignite their passion for science, technology, engineering, and math? How will they develop the skills they need to change our future in these areas? For many, a life-long journey of discovery begins at the Panasonic Creative Design Challenge.

The idea is simple. Engage and inspire young minds with a complex engineering and technology challenge. Then bring out their best in competition. In our Challenge, New Jersey high school students put their engineering and technical skills to the test, solving a real-world sustainability issue that takes their classroom learning to the next level.

One of the nation’s premier science and technology competitions

Since the Panasonic Creative Design Challenge (CDC) was established in 1991, educators and team advisors have been saying it’s one of the most valuable teaching tools they’ve encountered in their careers. That’s because it challenges students in so many ways beyond STEM and taps into power skills like problem solving, communication, application of knowledge, teamwork, documentation, communication, and leadership.

The competition requires teams of three students to collaborate on the design, development, testing and performance of a robotic device, overcoming electrical and mechanical engineering problems along the way. To be successful, students will need to utilize and combine math, coding, design and engineering skills.

CDC Inspires
An exciting journey from Preliminary Trials to the Final Competitoin

On the road to victory, teams will need to complete five key elements:

On the road to victory, teams will need to complete five key elements:

  • Preliminary challenge – Robotic devices must finish tasks efficiently in three 3-minute trials. The best-performing teams go to the final.
  • Oral presentation – Before the final (or on the same day for teams traveling far), students present for 15 minutes. They’re judged on their project overview, understanding of engineering principles, delivery and appearance.
  • Engineering logbook – Due several weeks before the final, the logbook should document all steps in project development, and include raw data, calculations and drawings.
  • Written report – Also due before the final, the report should have up to 5 total pages on the device’s design, principles employed, the team’s collaboration and their biggest obstacle.
  • Final challenge – Top teams face off to complete an expanded list of tasks in three 5-minute trials. Judges will evaluate device performance as well as written reports, oral presentations and logbooks.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony immediately following the final challenge.

Scholarships up to $4,000 for each winning student

CDC Scholarships

Hard work is well-rewarded at the Challenge. In fact, each year we give out more than $40,000 in scholarships to winning teams, and special category prizes to teams who succeed in specific elements of the CDC like Best Documentation, Best Design and Best Documentation, to name a few.

A focus on a more sustainable environment

With each year’s challenge, we not only strive to keep it real, we strive to keep it green. Because preserving the planet is such a core part of our mission at Panasonic, the challenges we devise generally revolve around sustainable energy use, and teams are encouraged to recycle and use environmentally-friendly materials in their robotic devices.

Panasonic CDC

Collaborating with a prestigious partner - NJIT

The majority of funding for the Creative Design Challenge comes from Panasonic. But our long-term partner in this program, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), also makes significant contributions and lends its prestige as a top engineering university.

In partnership with the university, three NJIT honor students are hired as interns to develop the Challenge each year. NJIT staff score the team written reports, and serve as judges for the performance trials and oral presentations of the Challenge. Additionally, NJIT serves as the site host of the Preliminary and Final Challenge competitions on their campus in Newark.

When students face real-world engineering problems together, they rise to the challenge.
CDC Students