Novel Engineering Challenges Official Rules and Information


Novel Engineering Challenges Competition (the “Competition”) is open to K-12 schools and informal learning programs located in one of the fifty United States or the District of Columbia (herein, the “Class”).  Children (“Entrants”) attending such Classes may identify engineering problems in the books designated for the three Challenges and design functional, realistic solutions for the characters.

This Competition is sponsored by Tufts University’s Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

By participating in this Competition, Entrants and their Representatives agree to be bound by these Official Rules.



Only authorized representatives (each a “Representative”) of a School who are at least eighteen (18) years old may enter on behalf of the Entrants from such School. The Competition is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited. Participation constitutes School’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Competition.  Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

 A student may work independently or a group of students may work together on one submission for each Challenge.

Entrants and Representatives are not eligible to win if they are an employee, partner, or immediate family member of an employee of Tufts University’s Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.


 Trustees of Tufts College, 200 Boston Avenue, Medford, MA 02155.

Three Challenges:

There are three Challenges in the Competition.  Each Entrant may enter more than once during each Challenge.  

Sponsor’s servers are the official time-keeping devices for the Entry Periods. Any entries received after the Entry Period shall not be valid.

Challenge 1

Come up with engineering problems in Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming and illustrated by G. Brian Karas, and design a functional and realistic solution for the characters.

Entry period for Challenge 1 begins on April 1, 2017 at 12:01 AM (Local Boston Time) and ends on June 9, 2017 at 11:59 PM (Local Boston Time). Winners will be notified on June 19, 2017 and will be announced on June 22, 2017.

Challenge 2

Come up with engineering problems in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, and design a functional and realistic solution for the characters.

Entry Period for Challenge 2 begins on June 12, 2017 at 12:01 AM (Local Boston Time) and ends on August 11, 2017 at 11:59 PM (Local Boston Time).  Winners will be notified on August 18th and will be announced on August 28, 2017.

Challenge 3

Come up with engineering problems in Poppy by Avi, and design a functional and realistic solution for the characters.

Entry Period for Challenge 3 begins on October 1, 2017 at 12:01 AM (Local Boston Time) and ends on November 10, 2017 at 11:59 PM (Local Boston Time). Winners will be notified on November 17, 2017 and will be announced on November 27, 2017.  

How to Enter: For each Challenge, during the applicable Entry Period, Representatives must take the following actions:

  1. Register the School Class in Novel Engineering Challenges ( if it is not already registered; and
  2. The Representative must certify that each Entrant’s parent or guardian has consented to such Entrant participating in the Competition and has agreed to the Official Rules set forth herein; and
  3. A separate online form should be filled out for each Submission and each Submission shall include the following:
    1. A description of the engineering problem in the book identified by the Entrant, and
    2. If desired, pictures and/or video of the solution (Representatives can assist students in taking the pictures or video); and
    3. Text describing how the solution would impact the characters or story.

All Submissions and supporting documents must be submitted to the Judges via


Each Entrant may enter more than once for each Challenge Entry Period. Representatives may be required to show proof of being authorized to enter on behalf of the Schools. Limitation on Winning:  Each Entrant may only win one (1) award in each Entry Period (Popular Vote or Judges).

Entry Guidelines:

  • All aspects of the Submission must be in English;
  • If a video is submitted, the video may not exceed two (2) minutes in length and this time limit will be strictly administered;
  • If a digital image is submitted, the image must be in .jpeg, .tiff, or .png format and must not exceed twenty-five MB in size, and;
  • The Submission cannot have been previously published, uploaded onto a website or submitted in any competition of any kind.

Content Restrictions:

  • The Submission must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including without limitation, privacy, publicity, or intellectual property rights infringement.
  • The Submission must not disparage Sponsor or any other person or party affiliated with the Competition.
  • The Submission must show only the entrant’s creation.  Entries must not show any identifiable feature of any person, or any product, trademark, or copyrighted property of any other person or business entity.
  • The Submission must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous, or libelous.
  • The Submission must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred, or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age.
  • The Submission must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any state or province where Submission is created.
  • If digital images or videos or individual persons are submitted, the Representatives must certify in writing that all such persons (and their parents/guardians if any such persons are minors) have consented to the use of such images or videos in entering the Challenge and the completed use of such images or videos by the Sponsor.

Intellectual Property:

By uploading the Submission, each Entrant has granted to the Sponsor a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual (or for the entire term of duration of intellectual property rights), non-exclusive, sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, and display such Submission in whole or in part, on a worldwide basis, and to incorporate it (or portions thereof) into other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, for any educational or promotional purposes.  If requested, Entrant’s parent or guardian agrees to sign any documentation that may be required for Sponsor or its designees to fully exploit the above-referenced license grant to the Submission. In granting Sponsor such license, Entrant’s parent or guardian will represent and warrant that the Submission remains unpublished and does not in any way infringe upon any third party’s intellectual property rights.


There are no monetary awards for the competition.  

Winners are:

  1. Awarded a certificate of achievement
  2. Presented with a small 3D-printed trophy
  3. Featured on the website and in other media for their achievement

Selection of Potential Winners and Odds of Winning:

There are two opportunities for winning.

  • Popular Vote – Popular vote is determined by tallying the on-line votes on Submissions.  The top ten Submissions for each Challenge are identified and recognized with the prizes.  
  • Judge’s Choice – 3 Judges Choices Winners will be selected for each Challenge by a panel appointed by Sponsor (the “Judges”).  Submissions will be assessed against the following criteria:
    1. Originality of solution problem selected
    2. Functionality of solution
    3. Solution’s impact on the story or character

Please note that the panel may choose not to select a recipient, should no suitable Submissions be received.

The odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible Submissions received for each Challenge and the creativity, skill and talent of the Submissions, as assessed by the judges.

Claiming the Prize:

Each potential winner(s) will be contacted through the representative’s email address.

Dates of Notification:

Challenge 1: Winners Notified June 19, 2017
Winners Announced June 22, 2017

Challenge 2: Winners Notified August 18, 2017
Winners Announced August 21, 2017

Challenge 3: Winners Notified November 17, 2017
Winners Announced November 21, 2017  

Potential winners have five (5) days from the date of notification to complete and return the Winners’ Documents.  If a Potential Winner cannot be contacted, has not claimed their prize within 5 days of notification or does not complete the Winners’ Documents, then a new Potential Winner will be selected from all remaining eligible Submissions for a Challenge received before the end of the Entry Period, in accordance with the selection procedure above.

Data Privacy:

By entering the Competition, each Representative and each Entrant’s parent or guardian agree to such Representative’s and Entrant’s personal information being used for the purposes described in these Official Rules.

By entering this Competition, each Representative and each Entrant’s parent or guardian acknowledge that such person has read and understand the Privacy Policy and agree to its terms.

Additional Rules:

  • Submissions will not be returned.  All Submissions shall become the property of Sponsor and may be used for purposes set forth above.
  • Sponsor is not responsible for lost, misdirected, mutilated, incomplete, or illegible entry materials, or for Submissions not received prior to the end of the Entry Period.
  • Any Submission made or attempted in a manner which, in the Sponsor’s reasonable opinion is contrary to the spirit of these Official Rules, or by its nature is unfair to other Entrants, will be invalid and may result in such person’s disqualification from the Competition.
  • For a list of the Winners, contact Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (
  • These Official Rules shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of United States of America.