K'Nex STEM Design Challenge​

Each year, teams are given the “STEM Design Challenge” to find a solution to an engineering problem. Students work in small teams to design and build their project out of a K’Nex Challenge set. Students are then judged on the following criteria: Creativity,  Teamwork, Challenge Success, Design, Presentation, Budget.

2022 K'Nex STEM Design Competition

Infrastructure is the framework of our world. Buildings, roads, and power supplies are part of the infrastructure needs of our society. Your challenge is to improve our transportation system. Think of current transportation systems like air travel, vehicle travel, bicycling, etc. In what ways can they be improved to create a safer, healthier, and cleaner world? Or does your team have an idea for a new transportation system? Create a prototype that shows this improved, or new, transportation system. Demonstrate how your system works by moving a ping pong ball through your prototype.

General Competition Information:

Who: Students in grades 4th-8th



Registration Deadline:

Please fill out the registration form no later than . You will need to register each team separately. Submission will be open until 11:59 PM on this day.

Important Dates:

Competition Contact:

Photo of Melissa Duckworth
Curriculum Consultant Curriculum and Innovation Department
Work Phone: (814) 422-4154
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Judging Criteria:

  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Challenge Success
  • Design
  • Presentation


  • A team of 2-4 students will work together on the project.
  • This year we are asking students to create their prototype using recyclable materials and/or K’Nex.
  • Each team will need to create and submit a design notebook and a blueprint.
  • Each team will need to prepare a presentation (max 2 minutes) on their model and how they answered the challenge.


  • Teams will answer the challenge by creating a prototype of their idea. This year teams may use recyclable materials or K’Nex pieces.
  • Teams may include a backdrop or artwork but judges will not consider this in their scoring.


  • Teams are asked to share their ideas in a presentation for the judges.
  • Each presentation will be 2 minutes or less.
  • Every student on the team should present.
  • Judges may ask questions of the team after the presentation.
  • Resources for Presentation Videos

Competition Resources:

Design Notebook:

Knex team assembling project