ocMaker Challenge


The intent of this project is to provide our diverse Orange County secondary and post-secondary student populations, with an opportunity to participate in an integrated STEM design project. The Maker Challenge will deliver an authentic experience and creative environment that combines STEM technologies, Art and Design in a culture of inquiry, problem solving, and active engagement.  Students are challenged to identify a unique problem, document solutions and present a prototype.

The learning model for this project is to provide context for the convergence of academics, hands-on creativity and application of 21st Century skills.  It will appeal to active learners and support higher order thinking skills and real-life problem solving.  Students will undertake a self-directed open-ended design project within the framework of minimal published constraints.  These constraints will include the intentional identification of STEM concepts in their original creations while accessing and infusing new technologies.  Projects will showcase mastery of communication and critical thinking skills as students collaboratively generate insightful discussions based on extensive background reading and research.  Important underpinnings of the Maker Challenge are an intentional focus on the new Common Core State Standards in Math, English Language Arts and the Next Generation Science Standards.  The mastery of these standards will be assessed and showcased in the presentation of a Design Brief, graphic media, documentation of STEM research and physical prototypes of their creation. 

Video recap of the 2017-2018 ocMaker Challenge.  ​​

The ocMaker Challenge was  designed  in collaboration with Central Orange County CTE Partnership (CTEp), Orange County Department of Education(OCDE) and industry and educational professionals.   The goal of the project design is to  engage  our diverse Orange County secondary and post-secondary student populations with an opportunity to participate in an integrated STEM design project.  The design team created  a self-directed open-ended design project, with minimal constraints, that  appeals to all learners.  The project utilizes design thinking to help students identify problems and find meaningful solutions which supports higher order thinking skills and real-life problem solving.

Special Thanks To:
Jillian Johnson-Sharp | M.A. Ed. |Administrator | CTEp |Orange County Department of Education
Ed Hernandez | BSEE |MA Ed. | Tustin High School | Engineering Teacher | Director, T-Tech Academy

In special Memory of Greg French, CTE Instructor 

The titanium robotic arm was fabricated using additive manufacturing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

-ocMaker Challenge Prompt

Design and build,

or significantly repurpose, a product that will solve a problem, need or want.