Rice 360 High School Design Competition

Posted by Science Explored on August 27, 2013

“Let’s get ready to ruuuummmmble!”  Rice University is sponsoring a STEM design competition this fall with cash prizes.  Students who love hands-on learning, enjoy working in competitive teams, and have a knack for science, technology, engineering, and/or math, look no further!

High school students sponsored by any Science, Technology, Engineering or Math teacher can participate in a Global Health Technologies Design Competition.  Student teams use the engineering design process to develop a solution to a real-world global health design challenge under the mentorship of Rice360°'s students, staff, and faculty, gaining hands-on design experience as they design a prototype.

For the 2012-2013 Global Health Design Competition, the Rice 360° team issued two challenges: 1) develop a self-calibrating dosimeter to measure the intensity of phototherapy lights or 2) design a simple method for adjusting CPAP nasal prongs.  Participating students choose to undertake one of these challenges thought the academic year, completing 6 rounds of one-page assignment submissions.  At the end of the competition, selected student teams present their prototypes to a panel of judges from Rice 360° and our partners.  The winning teams receive a cash prize.

What’s a dosimeter?  What are CPAP nasal prongs?  Dosimeters are medical devices that measure an individual’s exposure to radiation by detecting X-rays, alpha rays, beta rays, and gamma rays.  These devices are essential for radiation therapy (cancer) patients; doctors use take readings from these devices to adjust how and when treatment is delivered.  Too much radiation can be lethal; too little, and the cancer will survive CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, nasal prongs are devices used to help people with sleep apnea and related breathing disorders.  Improving how nasal prongs are adjusted has the potential to help millions suffering from breathing difficulties worldwide.

Applications for the April 2014 Global Health Technologies design Competition will be made available on September 2013.  For more information, please email beyondtraditionalborders@rice.edu or visit www.rice360.rice.edu/hs for details additional opportunities.