Contest Theme and Machine Story

Machines must incorporate the contest theme. It is up to the team to interpret and determine how best to incorporate the contest theme. It is also recommended that teams create a story around their machine that provides context, helping to explain the overall purpose or justification of the machine. The story can be imaginative, but should also relate to the real world. Teams are encouraged to gain inspiration from the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges for Engineering (

The machine story should be communicated through the machine design, Team Presentation, and Team Journal. Teams are allowed to use costumes, music, and decorations. However, these must not disrupt the competition and decorations are not allowed outside the parameters of the machine.